Kindness is a wonderful thing.
It is a value recognised in most cultures and religions. It’s a pleasant disposition that shows concerns for others. In his book Rhetoric, Aristotle defines kindness as “helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped”. What a high ideal!
Kindness was one of the core virtues of the Knight’s Creed. Nietzsche called it the most ‘curable herb of the human condition’. And Mark Twain describes kindness as a language which the ‘deaf can hear and the blind can see’.
Made famous in the movie “Pay It Forward”, random acts of kindness actually do change the world. For my 40th birthday, ten couples with $50 each, took off into the streets of Melbourne to invest kindness into strangers around them. When they came back to my dinner party to celebrate together, their stories of kindness were rich, deep, and personal.
In October 2011, Life Vest Inside posted a video called “Kindness Boomerang”. It shows how one act of kindness passes seamlessly from one person to the next and boomerangs back to the person who set it into motion. Orly Wahba, Life Vest Inside Founder and Director of Kindness Boomerang explains that each scene was based on real life experiences she personally went through; moments of kindness that left a lasting impression on her life. Within several months after its release, Kindness Boomerang went viral; reaching over 80 million people globally and eventually landing Wahba spot on the TED2013 stage to speak about the power of kindness.
Wow – who has ever thought this much about kindness? Recently, I have!
Our local church community has just committed to 2,000 random acts of kindness over a 3 week period. I’ve chalked up a few already…and looking to do a couple more. Most importantly, is not letting this be a fun short-lived project, but a posture over a lifetime.
I am faith-driven in my marriage, family, business and community life. This means God is the center of my world, and I hope to become a little more godly every day as I pursue Him. Unfortunately, I fall short way too often. But it won’t stop me trying.
Kindness is one of these attributes of God I want to pursue more!
And God’s type of kindness has three dimensions. (1) It’s undeserving; (2) it costs you something as the giver; and (3) it is motivated by love toward another.
My commitment is to act more kindly. Upwardly, outwardly and inwardly.
Let’s improve our game, and be more kind to others.
[Here’s a link to a message I gave on kindness recently at our local church]