"Kind people are the best kind of people."
Mean-spirited people can bring out the worst in me. When I am snapped at, I tend to snap back. It's a rare and rather holy moment when I can rise above my knee-jerk reaction and extend love when I am more inclined to retaliate.
I don't think my grandma possessed a mean bone in her body. If she harbored unkind thoughts or ill will toward others, it was well hidden under a life lived by the Golden Rule.
My only memory of grandma's feathers being ruffled was during her daily indulgence in front of her TV. If grandma had a vice, it was her soap opera. As the world turned, her world came to a screeching halt so she could plunge into the dramas of her fictitious friends. I am smiling as I remember her responses to scenarios that played out on the screen. Grandma lived by a strong code of ethics, but she was no dummy when it came to people and society. I can hear her now, "Oh, you don't mean it!" If she could, I think she would have crawled into that box to try and bring a little kindness into their made-up, heartbroken lives.
Grandma was kindhearted; saying and doing kind things seemed to come more naturally to her than it does to me. Genuine kindness is a valued fruit of God's Spirit, and I want to possess it more abundantly. So I look to my grandma, who was a glowing example. She didn't just speak it with words, she lived kindness daily. She has much to teach those of us who are hungry for more of this precious fruit.
What do we gain when we treat someone meanly? Nothing of value. But when we act kindly, especially when we don't like the way we are being treated, we can change the world. Grandma's code of kindness inspires me to clothe myself in it daily, even on those days when I want to reach for the robe of retaliation instead.
"Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not."
"The best portion of a good man's life ~ his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindess and love."
"Kindness is the greatest wisdom."
"Even when you do not feel bighearted, you can give yourself permission to act that way."
~Lama Willa Miller
"If we cannot be clever, we can always be kind."
"To err on the side of kindness is seldom an error."
"Have you had a kindess shown?
Pass it on;
'Twas not given for thee alone,
Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years,
Let it wipe away another's tears,
'Til in Heaven the deed appears ~
Pass it on."
"Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit."