But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.Hebrews 13:16
Kindness is perhaps one of our greatest tools right now. And while the world is closing her borders and communities are locking their doors, the art of inclusion may be one of the greatest kindnesses we can show.
When things are tough and uncertain and the air buzzes with a sense of anxiety, we have two choices – become cruel, or become kind. And when the stakes are as high as they are right now, it seems that there’s no middle ground. We all have to choose, every day. Either cruelty, or kindness. Every day.
10 Ways to Choose Kindness Today
- Smile at a stranger, make eye contact, and say ‘hi’. These interactions seem rare at the moment, so why not take the opportunity to add a little sunshine to someone’s day by stepping outside of your cares, by sharing a smile.
- Practise inclusivity. Write a list of everyone you know who is on society’s fringe and work your way through with phone calls, text messages or emails. Check-in with them to see how they’re faring, how they’re feeling. Let them know you’re thinking of them. Open up a conversation – this is how they know they’re not alone.
- Share. Take note of any excess items in your home. Do you have extra flour? Tinned food? Toilet paper? Send a quick text to friends and family to let them know that you have spares, if they’re caught out. Right now, supermarket shelves are still bare and until they’re restocked and bulk purchases are restricted, we need to keep an eye out for each other.
- Spread positivity. There are so many great things happening in our world and hearing these stories is such a beautiful thing. Share these on social media, text them to friends. Rather than helping spread fear, why not help spread the good that’s happening?
- Be kind on social media. It’s a little bit snarkier than usual out there in Socials land. Has anyone noticed? Rather than shrinking back to avoid the snark, why not post that inspiring quote, beautiful story or stunning photo? Your social media can be a billboard of hope, if you’re intentional about it.
- Have grace for one another. Everyone has an opinion on what’s going on and how it should be handled. Some are fearful, others are angry and many are confused. Let’s have grace for each other and where we’re at, rather than trying to bring them to our side of the fence.
- Small gifts speak volumes. Is there something you can gift today, to put a smile on someone’s face? Perhaps a plant clipping from your garden, or a handwritten card? If someone’s in quarantine – or even if they’re not – the loneliness can be overwhelming. Something dropped on the doorstep with love and kind words can be what changes their day.
- Spread your calm. Our local radio station is running a #spreadyourcalm campaign and it’s gold. Rather than talking constantly about our worries and fears, what if we share our hopes, our solutions, our calm? Whether it be the lady in the line at the grocery store who is worried about there being no toilet paper, our children who’ve heard scary statistics on the news or that person on social media who is deep in fear – what if we were able to respond in a way that helped spread calm? What if, instead of ‘Yes it’s so scary isn’t it?!’ we were able to say ‘I hear you, it’s a challenging season but I love the way everyone is pulling together. As a community we can really work together and become stronger and more connected – which is something which could be such a positive outcome!’ Can we turn our conversations from fear to calm?
- Support your leaders. Our church, school, organisation, political, event, facility leaders are making difficult calls at the moment. If we support them and vocally tell them we appreciate their hard work – this will make a world of difference. They’re out on the frontline and often, these decisions are costing them a lot. Rather than question and criticise, if we can come alongside and support them, imagine the difference it will make for them and their families?
- Pray. For one another, for our world and for our leaders. Let people know you’re praying for them. Sending them a prayer. It’s powerful and people know it and in times like these, it’s often the one thing which brings them peace, whether they believe or not.
As we approach this season intentionally, we will see beauty for ashes. We will see relationships restored, communities built, solutions created. We are not powerless – we in fact are incredibly gifted and empowered to make a difference. If we can do just one thing each day to choose kindness, we’ll see tangible results in a world which is desperate for what we bring.
What have you done this week, in an act of choosing kindness?