This past Sunday, I was walking through a nearby neighborhood when I overheard a short and simple conversation between a man sitting on a bench in the heat and a well-dressed young man passing by him. The exchange brought tears to my eyes when I realized what happened. The scene went something like this:
(Young man walking by a man on a bench, earbuds in, and distracted by his phone.)
Man on the bench: Excuse me, hey you there!
(Startled, I listened in…)
He continued: I wanna know... why did you get me a coffee yesterday?
To which the young man took out his earbuds and answered casually: Because you asked me for one and I needed one too.
In Aesop’s Fable, The Lion and the Mouse, even the most unassuming creature saves someone’s day and proves that “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Being a member of the universal Church, what can you do for a neighbor? Kindness is a fundamental value taught at a young age, and appreciated throughout a lifetime. When you show it, people notice, just as I did with the example above, and want to show it too. Christ was a model for kindness. He taught us how to be kind, how to show mercy, and how to pray for those in need. When we are merciful to others when they make mistakes or shortcomings, we are being the face of Christ to those who need it and are being compassionate to Christ himself.
When we go about our daily lives thinking about ourselves, the things we need to do, and the places we need to be, we get bogged down in only what we need. We rarely consider the effect that our selfishness has on others. It is hard to show kindness if we don’t quite know where to start, but it’s something that anyone can show and soon becomes contagious. Here are ten ways to get started!
1. Say something positive to someone you know.
2. Say something positive to someone you don’t know, such as “Good morning!” or “Have a wonderful day!”
3. Smile at a stranger
4. Hold a door for a stranger
5. Call a relative
6. Leave a huge tip
7. Ask a worker how their day is and actively listen to their response
8. Say “I love you” more often to those you care about
9. Pray for someone without telling them
10. Give someone a hug