4 ways to Be KIND (and 4 Buts)
April 28 is International "Pay It Forward Day" or "Random Acts of Kindness Day." I saw it on my social media feed, so I looked it up. Turns out 70 countries have signed this into being a legit "International Day of..." The idea is to make today a reminder to be kind to others every day.
Not a bad idea. It's good to have reminders. For instance, this morning I failed to write down all the errands I needed to run for the family, and Awaken Church. I still don't have windshield washer fluid in my car.
Reminders are good. Windshields of crusty bug carcasses are bad.
At this point, I must issue a warning/disclaimer: if you are offended by acronyms, or have a deep loathing for cheesy cliche-ish type things, then stop reading now, and return to whatever deep intellectual pursuit you were engaged in before you came here.
Reflecting on what it means to Be KIND, I came up with these ways to do it:
Keep your head up (but don't stick your nose in the air). We all have moments when we get down. that's life; it's normal and it's OK. You're OK. But even when you're down, you can find a way to keep your head up. Maybe you have a song, or Scripture, or a place that brings you joy. Return to that over and over if you need to. Keeping your head up opens the door for showing kindness to others. But don't stick your nose in the air! Don't be aloof. And if you're wired like me, and come across as aloof even when you're not, really really try to catch yourself. Pay attention to that, and be kind.
Intentionally smile at others (but don't be creepy). Be aware of your face. I admit that I get lost in thought from time to time, and apparently during those times, my face doesn't look happy. I'll get told, "Smile, it will get better!" and I'm not even fretting or frowning... just thinking. So, I try be intentional with my smiles. It's not a fake smile, but a real smile tied to whatever thought or experience puts that smile on my face. So, be kind enough to give away your smile! But don't be creepy. Don't be so into your smile that you come across like the Joker, about to blow up a hospital for your own enjoyment.
Notice others (but don't be shady). Really though, pay attention to who is around you. What's going on? One of the biggest needs most of us have is to be noticed. Who could use that smile or that encouraging word? Who might really be blessed by a random act of kindness? When we get our eyes off of ourselves, we can see the beauty in those around us. So, notice others. But don't be shady. Don't stare. Don't leer. Don't come across like you're lurking in the shadows, checking someone out. People need to be noticed, but no one wants the attention of a shady character!
Do something (but not to get something in return). To bottom line it, to be kind, you have to do something. It doesn't have to be something huge or tweet-worthy. It doesn't have to be material or financial. Do something. It might be that smile. Or that "hello." Or that, "'Sup, dude?" Too many times, I've thought kind thoughts without doing something kind. I want to change that. So, do something - a random act of kindness. But don't do it in order to get something in return. I'm always on the lookout for an opportunity to invite someone to Awaken Church, but I won't base doing something kind on whether that opportunity is there or not. So, instead of thinking, "how will I get paid back for this," think, "how can I pay it forward?"
What ways have you found to be kind?