Here lately, I have seen a lot of articles, blogs, and memes online about kindness. Not just random acts of kindness, but whole movements of people celebrating those who make a choice to be kind, to use kind words, to encourage kindness in others. And I love it!
I think our world would be such a better place if we all lived this way day to day. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where people continually sought out ways to bless others instead of continually seeking ways to destroy others?
Tonight as my husband watched an old episode of the TV show Homicide, one of the detectives was telling another about his moral high ground. This detective insinuated that he had never been in a position where he had made any bad choices because he relied on his good conscience and strength of character. His superior attitude offended the other cop who told him, “Virtue isn’t virtue until it’s slammed up against vice. Until it’s tested and tempted, it’s just a good idea, a nice thought.”
I loved that! We may all believe we are doing well in life, but until we actually face a hard time or temptation, it’s hard to say how well we will handle it.
I shared the Homicide detective’s quote on Facebook and a friend stated that she always reminded her grandkids of the old quote, “Character is what we do when we think no one is watching.” It’s true. When we choose honesty, integrity and kindness over deceit, ruin and harshness when no one is around, we exemplify who we really are inside. And like we have all learned and taught our children, it’s what is on the inside that really matters.
This fall, there is a movie that will be coming to theaters called Wonder. It is about a little boy who has a craniofacial difference that has misshapen his face and sometimes makes others treat him poorly. In the book version of the movie, the little boy learns about friendship and faces the harshness of middle school children. He wins the love of several children who become his best friends and ultimately his biggest cheerleaders.
The author states that empathy cannot be taught, but it can be inspired. I am hoping that the majority of adults and children alike will see this movie and will be inspired to treat others with kindness and compassion, especially when they think no one else is watching.
While all of us may believe that we have it all together and will be kind when uncomfortable or difficult situations present themselves, we often learn ugly things about our hearts when we are faced with a circumstance where we can choose to treat someone harshly, speak sarcastically and get a laugh from others. I hope that in your upcoming week, you will find ways to bless others and spread love and joy with your words and your actions. Especially if you believe no one else is watching.