Have you ever thought of kindness as brave? Maybe even as courageous?
Have you ever equated kindness with valiant adventures, the sort that boast of swinging across ropes and trampling over drawbridges?
My guess is probably not. Because kindness is usually boiled down to “nice.” To that bland word that stands as a good substitute for being polite, mild-mannered, even afraid to speak up.
Being nice is a common courtesy. It’s good, but it’s not the same as kind.
Kindness, as I see it, is not just friendliness.
Kindness is recognizing goodness even when it is most difficult.
It’s is heroically digging and searching for good in the most hidden of places and people. It’s bravely extending love to someone who, by all appearances, doesn’t seem to deserve it.
Most people see kindness as ordinary. But really, ordinary couldn’t be further from the truth. Because in reality, kindness is brave. In fact, it might be one of the bravest things you do.
Bravery has long been associated with battle, with sticking your neck out in the face of danger, for the good for others. It’s putting yourself in harm’s way, all for the sake of what’s right.
So, is it going too far to link kindness with a word like “bravery” or “courage”? I don’t think so.
Kindness, true kindness, is risking something.
It’s going ahead with treating others right under threat that you might be rejected. It’s running the risk that you might be hurt, neglected, or left behind in the process. It’s looking for the uncomfortable situations and going there. Going there because you know that it is in fact right to be kind. It is necessary to be kind. And in a world becoming increasingly desperate for the good, the task of kindness necessitates courage.
This is the sort of kindness we should be teaching our kids. How does kindness grow in kids?
There are lots of ways hidden right in the midst of everyday life!
- It’s complimenting someone at the grocery store who was rude to you
- It’s a play date with the kid who doesn’t have any friends
- It’s inviting every child to your birthday, even though it would be easier to pick your favorites
The fact is, people want adventure. And they want challenge, whether they realize it or not. Kindness is a challenge, and a valiant one at that. One well worth your time, if you ask me.
So, the next time your child feels it’s not “cool” to be kind, ask this: What could be cooler than being courageously kind? Than displaying the bravery worthy of the best of knights, the strongest of kings? Than being all that, and more, out of love for Jesus? I’m not sure anything beats that!
What’s the hardest situation for you personally to find good or be kind? Let me know in comments!
Copyright 2019 Gracie Jagla