I can’t watch TV news, I can’t read news on-line any more and I’m starting to turn off TV shows that have too much conflict between the characters in them. It seems like everywhere I turn, there is conflict – a non-stop loop from kindergarten of: “yes you did, no I didn’t”. It’s making me nuts (or nuttier). I think it is also influencing how we speak to each other. We have a controversial project being proposed in our city and I’ve received over 300 emails about it. Most of the people simply want their opinion heard and will offer it constructively. There have been plenty of people however, that feel that they can be insulting and disrespectful simply because we (city council and staff) are public servants – less than human beings. Some are emboldened by the keyboard but don’t realize how their words and actions affect those around them. What if the kind words you speak are the only “kind words” that people hear in their lives? Would you go out of your way to speak kindlier to everyone?
There is a story called the blue ribbon that tells of a father who was given a blue ribbon by someone at work because they identified him as being important to them. He was then challenged to give the ribbon to someone who was important to him. He struggled to find that one person and put the ribbon in his briefcase before heading home. Once he arrived home, he found his son sitting in his room as he walked by. He returned with the ribbon and gave it to his son, explaining what had happened that day. He explained that while their relationship hadn’t always been the greatest, he wanted him to know that he was special and important to him. The son started to break down uncontrollably. When he was able, he explained that he was sitting there contemplating suicide because he thought that no one cared. Go out of your way today to speak a kind word to someone, you never know what your impact will be.
“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25
There is a lot to be anxious about these days. I seem to be writing a lot about worry and anxiety because they are everywhere and can take over a person’s life. However, those strong in faith know to send those worries and fears to God in prayer. What about the other people in our lives who do not have the confidence or assurance to do that, what can we do to help them? Well placed kind words can mean a great deal to everyone we encounter.
A couple of weeks ago, we discussed compassion and leaving people feeling good after we see them. Consider this the warm up act for compassion. When we are simply nice, generous with ourselves and offer kind words we will make a difference in people’s lives. Jesus never spoke poorly about anyone, not even those trying to persecute and kill Him. He teaches us the real meaning of compassion. Jesus was always uplifting even in the face of terrible times. If we compare our lives to His, we have it pretty easy. Share your grace and peace with others as it has been shared with you. A kind word will cheer up an anxious heart.