One of the most common failings of all of us is the inability to apologize when we have done an unkind thing, or said an unkind word. Often, we are so choked up with shame for the thing we have done or said that the easiest opportunity to apologize passes us by. As time goes on, it becomes increasingly difficult to say, “I’m sorry.” Nevertheless, there is little more important than setting right a wrong, and following unkind words or deeds with their opposites.
Unfortunately, we are not born with a built-in instinct for love of our fellow man. What comes easiest for us is usually the sharp, bitter word or thoughtless act. Kindness is something we must find deep within ourselves and bring to the surface. It is said that our attitudes reflect our innermost being, and this is undoubtedly true. But! Our attitudes most often do not reflect that inner being in the exact way we would believe that it exists. In fact, if our tarnished and blemished outward attitudes are a true reflection of our inner beings, then our inner beings are not the beautiful things that we would like to believe they are.
Kindness is the polish we put on our inner selves. It is something that can shine away those scars and scratches, and put a sheen on our outer attitudes and appearances also. For what affects the soul, affects the outer man also.
Kindness is what we most often associate with love. It’s the reflection of the love we hold in our hearts for those near and dear to us. But it must be extended! We cannot stop at being kind only to our friends and loved ones. Why can we not be kind to all the people with whom we come into contact?
How do we feel when someone does us a kindness? By far the majority of people appreciate it and thank, in some way, their benefactor. And perhaps, they add their benefactor, who is their friend by deed already, to their list of friends and loved ones. What an easy way to gain friends! Since a friend is someone who cares for his friends, and is kind to them, we see that in doing a kindness, we gain friends, and influence them to do kindnesses themselves.
The fight to be kind is an unending battle that is never completely won. But it is one that is well worth fighting and the rewards the great and soon coming.