In a world in love with power, we may hardly reconcile how much power there is in rejecting power. In a world where people are more tempted than ever to project their specialness, there is one quality the draws special attention to the more authentic specialness of a person.
That quality is the opposite of narcissism; that ‘entitlement to exploit others’. The quality I speak of is kindness. Kindness sets apart a specialness to any person devoted to it that kind people never crave, but always deserve.
As I cast my mind back to the kindest people who have impacted my life, one of the clearest examples was a lady I knew 15 years ago. She just seemed to be thinking ahead always about how she was to bless everyone. She always seemed five steps ahead of everyone, but poignantly her thinking was directed toward everyone else. She gave of herself in every way conceivable. She was generous with her time, her money, her physical presence, with the words she said, the smile she wore, her sense of laughter and joy, the party invitations she gave out to everyone, even to the courageous things she would say that were always rooted in love; the kindness of integrity. She made people feel they were the centre of her world. She was kind to everyone, no matter what they thought, looked like, did or didn’t do. In many ways, she was like an angel, and yet I know she would be the first one who would’ve said she was just human; and a bit broken like the rest of us.
One thing I’ve come to appreciate about kindness is this: it’s a gift that keeps on giving, and just as much as the ripples of kindness move outward upon the lives kindness touches, those ripples ripple inward as well, and just as much are the kind blessed.
Kindness might as well be generosity redoubled when it seeks no praise. Indeed, how could kindness be kind if it were to seek reward? Kindness sees or foresees a need and fulfils that need at just the right time, without a thought, being the pure instinct of love, and is always backed by the right benevolent motive.
Most of all, kindness is the antithesis of bullying and narcissistic abuse. It can do no violence, because it is filled with thoughts to bless. Kindness does no violence, because it sees the supreme way for all, including itself, and is sold to the idea that nothing can compare with, nor overwhelm, nor conquer kindness. And kindness, most of all, is defined by others. We can know whether we’re kind or not by what others say about us.
Want to see what God’s up to? Do your kindness. Be the kindness you can be, and what God will do, you will see. Kindness is colour blind. Kindness leaks onto others. It is contagious.