Call – Opelika-Auburn News
Small acts of
kindness make a difference
Kindness makes a difference. Most
people are cheered by kindness, especially when it not expected. Everyone is
capable of performing acts of kindness and most of the time the gift of
kindness costs us little or nothing.
Add to that the fact that kindness
actually benefits the giver as well as the recipient. Scientific research has
proven that being kind to others will improve your health. Acts of kindness release endorphins in the
brain that boost the level of happiness for both the giver and the receiver.
That may be one reason why Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how
small, is ever wasted.”
Harold Kushner explains it even more
clearly: “When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling
inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says yes, this
is how I ought to feel.”
I am not the first, of course, to make
a case for kindness. Mark Twain did so when he said, “Kindness is a language
which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Like so many things Twain said, I wish I had said that.
Bob Hope, a genius at twisting a
phrase, once said, “If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the
worst kind of heart trouble.” You can smile and say amen to the words of a
comedian who spent his life trying to make people smile.
Small acts of kindness can be simple
things like holding a door open for someone walking behind you or even smiling
at a store clerk who is serving you. Often a smile can chase away a frown. But
even when it does not, you will feel better for having smiled.
Birthday cards can be acts of kindness
especially if they contain a handwritten note of appreciation for someone’s
On our recent anniversary we received
many cards from friends that must have released a
truckload of those endorphins in our brains. We’ve been married so long that
our friends can’t believe we are still alive – and they remind us of that with
crazy cards – which make us smile! Of course some of our friends are, like us,
as old as dirt and they know it.
At annual conference this week a woman
asked if she could sit with us. We were delighted by this small act of kindness
by our friend Pat Caylor. As she sat with us, listening to the bishop announce
the appointments of his preachers, we felt a surge of joy in our hearts.
Sixty-one years ago this week her mother, Bertha Bell, sang at our wedding. The
kindness of her daughter choosing to sit beside us was a precious anniversary
King David was a great sinner who
having confessed his sins experienced forgiveness because of the kindness of
God. David gave us a beautiful word in the King James Version of the Bible when
he wrote often of God’s “lovingkindness.”
Modern translations have changed that
word to simply “love.” I realize that “lovingkindness” is a cumbersome union of
two words. But honestly I can think of
few more beautiful verses in the Bible than Psalm 63:3 – “Because thy
lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise thee.” Surely it is the
loving kindness of God that triggers in us the desire to offer others gifts of
Any day, like this very day, is a good
day to perform small acts of kindness that will bless those around us, whether
strangers or friends. I will allow Ralph Waldo Emerson to have the last word:
“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too
late.” + + +