April 21

Shall we make a new rule
of life from tonight:  always
to try to be a little kinder
than is necessary.

James Matthew Barrie


Today's Meditation:

If there is one human quality that could truly transform this world in which we live into a much more positive place, kindness would be it.  After all, love in action usually manifests itself as kindness, and kind acts are extremely important in all of our lives.  Somehow, though, we seem to ration out our kindness--"I've been kind to others three times already today, so this time I'll be less kind so that others don't see me as soft."

There truly is no end to our opportunities to be kind.  Yes, it may seem like that person is using me by asking for a favor, but since I really don't know his motivations, I can choose the kind response.  It's not my job to take care of others, but she really looks like she could use some help, and I have the capacity to be kind, so I shall be.  Heck, sometimes a simple kind word can be like a balm to a person who just needs to hear something that shows them that someone cares. 

What would our lives be like if we could live by this rule that James proposes?  How would people respond to us?  How would we feel about ourselves?  How would people treat the next person they meet after having been the recipient of our kindness?  Kindness is one of the strongest of all methods of influencing others, and it certainly is something that often gets passed on, whether we ever witness it being passed on or not. 

Each day, almost each moment, we have chances to say or do something kind.  It can be simple, and it can be modest, but kindness is kindness, and it is never wasted.  Just as we may have to strike a stone 100 times with a hammer, sometimes a person may need to experience kindness over and over before their armor is pierced. . . so even though we may not witness all of the results of our kindness, it is still a wonderful quality to show and to share to make life--the lives of others and our own lives--brighter and more positive.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people consider kindness to be a sign of weakness?

What do you think the world would be like if all people were to focus on being kind to each other instead of being afraid of each other?

In what ways can you show kindness today to the people with whom you interact?

For further thought:

You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world's
happiness now. How?  By giving a few words of sincere appreciation
to someone who is lonely or discouraged.  Perhaps you will forget
tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient
may cherish them over a lifetime.

Dale Carnegie


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