Welcome to the Sunday Devotion. Happy World Kindness Day! And it couldn’t have come at a better time, right? World Kindness Day is an international holiday that was formed in 1998 to promote kindness throughout the world. As part of the World Kindness Movement, it is observed annually in many countries including the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and the U.A.E. Beautifully stated, the theme of World Kindness Day this year is “Be Kind Whenever Possible,” which was taken from a Dalai Lama quote: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
As I look at my statement earlier when I said World Kindness Day couldn’t have come at a better time, I realize that I need to retract that statement. It infers that we need World Kindness Day to make us kind. But it is not a day delegated to kindness that will make a difference. We need to make a difference. And we shouldn’t need one day of the year to remind us. But, unfortunately, perhaps we do.
Kindness must go beyond a fleeting trend or a singular act. Kindness needs to be a lifestyle and mindset that implores us to live our lives with greater empathy and justice. Kindness asks us to go beyond niceties and good manners. Kindness must be a transformative action that offers compassion, inclusion and love.
Did you know that there are scientific facts about being kind? Experiencing acts of kindness makes kindness contagious. We experience kindness and we react by offering acts of kindness, as well.
I googled for inspirational quotes and found these:
“You cannot do kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
“Because that’s what kindness it. It’s not doing something for someone else because they can’t, but because you can.” Andrew Iskanders
Yes, we can go to modern quotes and inspirational phrases about kindness, but the best words of kindness are rooted in scripture.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV) “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 ESV)
We must celebrate and live kindness every day. “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great.” (Luke 6:35 ESV) In offering kindness, we can be like patient zero – we can start an epidemic of kindness.
Be well, my friends. And be kind.
Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.