Thursday, September 21, 2006

"The Need for Greater Kindness"

[Miracles] can happen and will happen when there is kindness, respect, and love. Why do any of us have to be so mean and unkind to others? Why can’t all of us reach out in friendship to everyone about us? Why is there so much bitterness and animosity? It is not a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
(Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Need for Greater Kindness,” Ensign, May 2006, 58)


I have been reminded of this lately. (Isn't it sad that we must be reminded of something that is supposed to be so basic to Christian life?) Sometimes being on the receiving end of unkind actions and words can remind me of how important it is for me to be kind.

I had a hard day a couple of days ago. I suppose I was probably already on the verge of tears anyway. But a woman serving samples at Costco was unkind to me, and I spent the rest of the time in Costco with tears trickling down my cheeks. I was reminded that "in the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see" (Hymns, 220).

I have had a few other experiences where a stranger has been incredibly unkind -- once in a parking lot, and once as I was crossing the street (a woman actually stuck her tongue out at me from her passing car after I had tried to signal for her to slow down while I crossed the street with my precious daughter!) I have been surprised at how those actions affected me. They hurt, even though I didn't know the people and even though I didn't have to face them again. I was reminded that even strangers deserve my kindness. Certainly they don't deserve impatience and mean words and actions.

I'm not trying to play the victim, but instead am reminding myself that even seemingly insignificant interactions plagued with mean-spiritedness can have an effect on someone. I know because of the effect these experience have had on me. I am resolving to be more kind, especially when my impulse may be to be selfish and snappy. I might just spare someone some pain that they didn't need added to their lives.

"Savior may I love my brother as I know thou lovest me."

13 comments:

Eric Nielson said...

You always seem to have a great attitude. Keep it up!

M&M said...

Thanks, Eric. I don't always have a good attitude, but writing helps me want to have one and focus, and helps me try to focus more positively. I appreciate your encouragement. :)

M&M said...

hehe...didn't edit that comment very well, did I? I guess the word of the day is 'focus.' :)

JKS said...

SOmetimes when people are unkind or inconsiderate, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and imagine that they are having a really bad day. Perhaps they feel sick, or perhaps they are very upset and it is making them act angry or unkind.
I remember once when I bumped (or crashed) into a woman as I ran around the corner in a grocery store aisle looking for my son who had been lost for a few minutes. She swore at me.
She had no idea of my situation. I admit later I was a little upset by it. But perhaps I had no idea of her situation? Perhaps she was in pain, or had just been dumped by her boyfriend, or been in a car accident. She probably thought I was some inconsiderate person who just ran through aisles with no regards for the personal space of others.
That helps me. However, it kind of irritates my husband because it means I defend everyone that he is currently mad at, including all the drivers he seems to get upset with when they make driving mistakes. LOL.

M&M said...

jks,
I often try to give the benefit of the doubt. The past few times, however, I have not done a very good job. :) Thanks for the reminder!

Tigersue said...

I just wanted to send you a thought hug. :)

M&M said...

Thanks, Tigersue! :) Right back atcha! :)

Cheryl said...

Hey m&m --I just read the comment you posted on my blog (which was very sweet--thank you!) and I came over for a peek.

Little did I know that your most recent post would be the exact thing I needed to hear.
Thanks for the great reminder... :)

M&M said...

Cheryl,
Isn't it cool the way things work like that? :) I'm always grateful when the Lord allows us the chance to help each other. :) Thanks for leaving a comment.

Alison Moore Smith said...

Well over a decade ago when I ONLY had three children, a woman approached me in Home Depot to ask if they were "all" mine. I smiled and said, "Yes." She then preceded to berate me for having more children than I had a "right" to since "we only have the right to replace ourselves."

Shocked, I stood there with my mouth agape. About ten minutes later, however, my (unbridled) tongue returned. I hunted the woman down and said, "You know, you're right. We should only replace ourselves. And since my children are so much better behaved than you, my third will replace you."

Now, mind you, I'm not proud of that moment. Just letting you know that there are worse things than crying through Costco. And it should go down in history as one of the few times a native New Yorker was speechless.

BTW, m&m, I'd appreciate it if you'd email me offline. I see no way to contact you privately. You can reach me through contact info on my website at mormonmomma.com if you're so inclined.

M&M said...

Wow, Alison, that was quite an experience. Having lived in the East makes it that much more, well, real to me. Thanks for sharing.

Tigersue said...

I have to say I had a great smile come to my face when I read Allison's response to that lady. :)

M&M said...

Alison is quick, there is no doubt about that! :)