Be kind. Everyone keeps saying, “be kind” but I am not seeing much kindness being spread around these days. Several things have happened in my little corner of the world the past few weeks making me grow grumpy and struggling to find the positive – and for this Pollyanna-ish person, that is a rarity.
Years ago when I was in college, I ordered a salad from Wendy’s. You read that right; I ordered a salad at Wendy’s instead of a single with cheese, no tomatoes with fries and a diet coke. At least I tried.
After eating several bites of my salad, I noticed a bright green inchworm inching its way along one of my salad leaves. I kid you not! A worm in my salad!
I quickly – and quietly – took the salad to the kid working the register and pointed out my unwelcome lunch friend. The kid called the manager over to see the little critter. The manager said it happens sometimes (What?) and offered to give me another salad. Um, no thank you! I’ll have a burger and fries that have been cooked well enough to kill any insects who would like to join me for lunch.
You know what I didn’t do? I didn’t post disparaging remarks on social media. I didn’t try to ruin the business of the eatery. I didn’t threaten to tell the world there was a bug in my food. Because, let’s be honest, our food doesn’t come from a laboratory so there might be a bug in or on it.
I thanked them from replacing my lunch – and I ate it.
I’ve seen – and heard from my restaurant owner friends about – situations less bothersome than an uninvited bug in which people seem to lose their ever-living minds and post hateful and hurtful words online.
Add a pandemic and a nasty election into the mix and there is a whole lot of room for a lack of kindness and basic civility. You know what else there is a lot of room for? A chance to show kindness and civility.
My pastor recently talked about a few Bible verses it would serve us well to consider and emulate.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
And I will add one of my favorites I have tried to live by –
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4: 29
And, finally, some wisdom from my Dad – Two wrongs don’t make a right. ~ Jim House
I can become downhearted by ALL the things going on in the world. No matter what your faith, political affiliation, age or skin color, I imagine your soul is not at rest right now. If we add a little bit of “honey” into the words we talk, text and type, peace can be restored. The problems may not resolve themselves right away, but I believe you will have more peace in your soul.
Happy New Year!
Comment with what gives you peace – and what steals your peace (using nice words only.) 😉
Kevin E. says
I have learned about getting radical with what I allow into my world. I choose to be happy, and therefore, I work hard only to let happiness in my life. For example, you take the incident from Jan 6 when people entered the Capital. As I spent a few minutes reading the Twitter storm that ensued, it is evident that the words from both sides of the aisle were robbing me of happiness. So, I choose to shut them off and stopped reading the Tweets. Now, don’t mistake me; I’m not burying my head in the sand and ignoring the issues, but what I decided was to turn off the fire hose that was thrusting very negative words in my face stealing my happiness. Controlling what I allow into my world is how I maintain my peace.
So true! The hate and nastiness was equal on both sides. I want to be a peace bearer and I can’t do that if I’m not at peace myself. I can gather information with hearing the insults and assaults.
Thank you for your comments.
Thank you for this, it is very true. God bless!
God bless you too!
jim house says
first,that inch worm would have been good protein. also,I am really pleased to see that my kids did sometimes listen to their ole man.
Seriously, so proud of you presenting this positive message and your Pastor also.
Oh, we listened. Didn’t always heed your sage advice – until we grew up!
Meli Wagner says
I have learned from Shelly’s Dad’s (your) wisdom! 🙂
Meli Wagner says
So very true!
Thank you for the Bible verses, I quote Proverbs 15:1 often. Now I’ll add Ephesians 4: 29. That one is a little harder, but a worthy challenge.