Today is World Kindness Day. In truth, before I logged onto Twitter this morning, I didn’t even realize today existed.
But, boy, I’m glad it does.
Active kindness is something I have been striving for lately in my own life. It’s really been put on my heart to pursue kindness in my pursuit of the Lord, and I think that bringing this day to light for me is just another way that He has been justifying that this is the right path.
Granted, I am hardly here to proclaim that I am perfect when it comes to practicing kindness. I mean, I’m not perfect when it comes to anything, but that’s just what comes with the territory as humans.
But, truthfully, I have been trying, very hard, to override every quick judgement that I may make with an kind alternate. Now, I’d love to say that it’s the easiest thing in the world to always think kindly about everything. You’d think it would be. But sometimes, it’s surprisingly easy to catch yourself being less than kind about things, even if it’s just something silly, like me not liking someone’s outfit choice. I’ve been trying to call myself out, even silently, wherever I may be too quick to make a call, or if that call is particularly catty. So what if those aren’t the leggings you might wear? I force myself to think. They’re rockin’ them, just look at their smile.
I have found that it is much easier to practice verbal kindness once you force yourself to be more aware of your internal monologues. And, generally, I do think that most people try to be nice to one another, on some level. I mean, it’s the golden rule, isn’t it? Treat other people how you’d like to be treated.
But to go back to where I said that I’m not the perfect, constantly kind child of God that I’d love to claim that I am. The reality is, I’ve certainly done some unkind things in the past, and I’m sure that I will do some unkind things in the future. It’s not like I’m planning on it, but again, human nature and whatnot.
When that happens, the best thing we can do is practice asking for forgiveness.
Yes, you read that right.
Asking for forgiveness is something we can practice.
My stepdad used to tell me not to say “I’m sorry” about everything. It wasn’t until I was older that I began to truly understand what he meant. If you apologize for everything, even when you don’t necessarily mean it, how is anyone supposed to know when you are being truthful? Then again, if you need to apologize that much, maybe there’s something else you should be evaluating — like what you’re saying to upset someone in the first place.
But circumstances will arise when you need to give a genuine apology. And I think that learning how to be earnest in asking for forgiveness is one of the kindest things we can do. Because, let’s face it — we aren’t the greatest when it comes to humbling ourselves, to admitting our faults, to saying that we were wrong and that we need to be forgiven.
And yet, humility and kindness tend to walk hand in hand.
Now, I’m no expert — in life, especially, and I never expect to be. I’m not here to tell you what to do. But, at the same time, I look at how much my own life, and my own outlook, has improved since actively trying to be more kind, and more humble, and I can’t imagine not sharing that good news with other people.
So, today, on World Kindness Day, even as it winds down, all I’m here to tell you is that it’s so easy to look at how we are being kind in our own lives. One change within ourselves can have such an impact on the people around us, and the people around them, and the people around them. It’s called a ripple effect for a reason.
And instances where we end up being a bit too human? Where we may be a bit unkind?
Forgiveness is key, and asking for it is just as important.
Happy World Kindness Day, and here’s to years of kindness ahead of us. What kind thing did you do today?