A fresh convert to the Care and Kindness campaign, or the Kindness life style, asked an important question. “How often should I say something to encourage or compliment someone around me?”
I said, “now and then”. I believed those words at the time, and I uttered them sincerely.
(In an older blog posting, I gave my explanation of what I meant by those words. It is still available online, if you want to read it now.)
However, I now regret my answer. My viewpoint has changed so that I feel what I said should be modified. As I consider that formula now, it sounds too indifferent to me. Some of my close friends have expressed the same feeling. What the answer should be is something like . . . Regularly. Or Consistently.
The words ‘now and then’ can perhaps be interpreted as being half-hearted, too impersonal, too casual. They run the risk of being like a trinket that can be pulled out from time to time when you think of it. Rather, I want so passionately for people to take on Care and Kindness as a life-style, or a way of life, that fits what Jesus modeled and asks of us.
When we seriously reflect on the meaning of life and what we are here for, it quickly becomes obvious that we have something important to contribute. Jesus’ prayer said a lot: “…Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Those words say to me that we are to show the love of Jesus in our daily living —“…on earth as it is in heaven.”
Our motto, or our plan, for loving-kindness should be to ‘Love one another’. If my earlier words of ‘now and then’ help you to live this way daily; if they help you undertake acts of kindness to others without putting yourself on a guilt trip for ‘not doing it enough’; if they are an aid to thinking along these lines more often, then I am pleased at your response.
But my belief now, years later, is that you should not let them limit you. We should strive to consistently share Jesus’ love; consistently offer ourselves to the hurting people around us; consistently find ways to provide acts of kindness. And the good Lord will help us to consistently spread and sprinkle that loving-kindness wherever we go.