Be Kind–Rewind

While the phrase may make you think about VCR rentals in the ’90s this month we’re challenging kids in 252 to stop, rewind, and take a look at Kindness. I’m trying to do the same thing. Here’s what I’m noticing.

Kindness and Pride are incompatible.

We’re defining kindness as showing others they are valuable by how you treat them. The interesting thing about Kindness is that many times it doesn’t cost you much or anything.  Like rewinding that tape you rented. I mean how long did it really take, right? But how come so many tapes were left un-rewound? And why is it in this world there is so little Kindness?I think in reality it comes down to one thing, self-focus.

We’re a selfie culture.

I mean good grief everyone has followers, a page, their own blog.

Admittedly, I’d be the biggest hypocrite in the world if I said there’s something wrong with having a blog… on my blog. I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with it.  I have and use all these things.

The danger is our culture can take these things that are not inherently bad and amplify them into a culture of self-focus.

In my life, there are two reasons that I’m mean and they both stem from the same reason.

My agenda feels threatened, I feel like I’ve been ignored, marginalized, put-out, or damaged in some way. So I react in a way that seeks to explain just how valuable my way is. In fact, though I wouldn’t say this, I act as if my agenda and my point of view is more valuable then whoever I treat unkindly.

The second reason I’m unkind…or perhaps ambivalent, is because I’m busy. This isn’t a fight with my wife or a heated exchange with the kids. This is just…nothing. See I get busy doing my own thing. I don’t feel threated. I don’t feel marginalized. All in all I’m fine with other people. I just don’t think I have time to show them how valuable they are. I’m busy. I’ll do it later.

See either way, whether you talk about the unkindness in an argument or just not showing kindness by doing my own thing, both stem from self-focus.

That’s why I love our definition. It’s showing others. Meaning, you may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. You may need to stop doing what you’re doing. But you take the time to show others.

Showing others they’re valuable by how you treat them.

This means that inherently I understand, my agenda, my point-of-view, my way are not the only ones on the table. That doesn’t mean you can’t be firm as a parent or as a boss. It doesn’t mean you can’t state your opposing opinion to your spouse. It does mean that you inherently recognize you have no more or less inherent value than them.

In fact, if you were Paul you would take it a step farther.

Philippians 2:3b “Value others more than yourselves.”. Kindness starts from stopping, rewinding from your point of view, and realizing the one across from you is more important and it’s your job to show it.

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

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