I normally would use scriptures for my articles; however, today I wanted to just talk straight from the heart. There are a great deal of people who would much rather fixate on the negative aspects of society.

I, on the other hand, choose to look at the goodness that we can find in life. It goes without saying that being kind is worth more than gold because even though gold may be able to satisfy a great deal of needs, it never satisfies the soul.

If people are truly honest with themselves, the one thing we try to teach one another is how to be kind. Whether you say we get that instinct from basic human nature, a mandate from God, or whatever you want to place in there, kindness is the one thing that can save this entire existence that we have. Let me go on to explain.

Just this morning, I was holding a newborn baby. Looking into that child’s eyes I saw a beautiful peace upon the baby. As he looked up at me, he could sense the kindness that I tried to bestow upon. He was smiling, content in my hands, just enjoying being there.

There were other people in the house at the time for making a great deal of noise. When the baby heard these individuals, the child became restless. I spoke with the individuals making the noise and requested them to calm down; teaching them that their loud noises is making the baby feel uncomfortable. Once they ceased their noise making, the infant was able to be more relaxed and able to rest.

Just like that child, all of us find peace when we are kind toward one another.

I want to speak about kindness because it is something that all of us need more of. The act of kindness means that we are not looking towards ourselves, but looking towards others and their needs. It is something which we do that will hopefully bring peace and comfort and assistance to those who need it most. It is something that we are able to use to make a difference in not only the world around us, but within ourselves.

Kindness is the measuring stick by which we can see our own self-worth. This isn’t meant as a pious statement; it is to help us to see and understand that each one of us are called to greatness by the kindness and gentleness that we share with the world around us.

We need to be able to take the kindness that has been bestowed to us in the past, draw life lessons from the impact that kindness had on us, and to be able to transform it into something that empowers us to be able to do the same and more for others. It's not out of obligation but out of love for one another. Our kindness towards one another is a measuring rod of our love towards others. In fact, I would dare say that our kindness is the fruit of our love; the more fruit we bear is the more love that we have.

If we take an honest look around us, we can find great examples of kindness all around us. Kindness doesn’t have to be a grandiose act. It can be something as simple as an infant’s smile or holding the door for somebody as they enter into a building. The kindness could be picking something up that somebody had dropped and returning it to her, could be assisting somebody to carry something.

Whatever active kindness you decide to do, it will not only brighten the day of the one that you do it for; it could actually change lives. The more kindness that we show on a regular basis, the greater example we are towards our children, our family and our community.

I have a charge for everyone who reads this: the challenge is for each one of us to show kindness to as many people as we can within the next week. Then I want you to assess how much joy that this is brought you as well as those whom you served. I am convinced that you will find that your joy will be that much greater and that you will find that you will want to continue this even beyond that week. I also believe that you will see a change of attitude in those whom you share kindness with. It doesn’t take much to show kindness; with the exception of our willingness to do so. Are you willing?

The Rev. John Boyanowski serves at Pleasant Lake United Methodist Church.

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