I wasn’t born with it.  It doesn’t come naturally.  I don’t seek it out.  I am not… kind. 
Oh, I am adept at being nice…
Mannerly.
Agreeable.
Polite.
Pleasing.
Even delightful.

 

I am nice but I don’t have the heart of kindness, and there my friends is the difference.
Niceness says, “Here, let me help you!!” while it thinks, “Then maybe you’ll help me!”
Kindness says,  “Here, let me help you!” while it expects nothing in return.  
Niceness performs random deeds of goodness. 

Kindness goes beyond and seeks the well being of others. Kindness is Love on Purpose. 

Interesting fact:                                                                                               Dictionary.com does not list ‘nice’ as a synonym for ‘kind’.  

I find I must practice kindness. Like a concert pianist must practice scales and theory for years and years before ever playing Carnegie Hall.  No one is born being a virtuoso, Except that one 3-year old phenom on Youtube who popped out of the womb playing Moonlight Sonata.  But clearly, the exception; not the rule! I must study kindness and learn its rhythms. I must diligently rehearse the way of kindness in discipline for it to take root in the heart, mind and soul. We might think kindness is innate, but I’m here to attest, it is not. piano player learning to be kind

One bright Sunday I hosted a bridal shower.  My friend’s doe-eyed daughter, Kennedy, accompanied her.  As Kennedy was only 8 years old, her mom said she could help in any way to ensure her admittance was a joy not a burden.  I tasked her with passing out pencils for the game and collecting discarded gift wrapping. She was happy to oblige.  When it was time for goodbyes I handed out white chocolates wedding bells as a thank you favor.  Kennedy gladly took one.  “Take one for your sister!” I prompted.  She looked at me as if foreign words were coming out of my mouth.  She cocked her head to her shoulder and quipped, “Now why would I do that?”   Did she really just say that?  She had just spent the last two hours smiling, serving the bride by bagging paper and carefully stacking her new pre-wedding gifts. She could be helpful in her deeds but to show good will towards her older sister was unfathomable!   She was acting nice but had not the spirit of kindness in her heart.

“Why would I do that”?  She repeated.
“Because it is kind.”  I replied.   
Kennedy’s older sister received a chocolate that day.  And Kennedy?  Well, she only knew Chopsticks but she was on her way to playing Chopin.
Kennedy isn’t the only one starting with Chopsticks. That’s all I know too.  My fingers plunk on two keys at once and my touch is too heavy.  I angle to get the best seat and the best piece of cake.  My words jab and cut when I don’t get my way.  And my thoughts?  So quick to judge and slow to be kind. 

I’ve been doing a Kindness Challenge the last 30 days.  What I’ve discovered is that…I am not kind.  And I thought I kinda was!!!  My assignment was to not say anything negative about my person, to him or others,(I chose my husband, by the way), to affirm him each day and to do one small ask of kindness each day.  I thought I could play that tune, but the music was so unfamiliar that I couldn’t even pound out the melody!  I found I was so critical, negative, argumentative, and sarcastic.  I realized eye rolling was a daily exercise for me.  My friend and I joked, “We need botox for our eyeballs!” I think I’m going to need another 30 days…

I wasn’t born with it and it doesn’t come naturally, but being Kind is something I want to learn so I’m intent on practicing it daily.  In the mornings upon waking I ask God to show me ways I can be kind.  I ask Him to open my eyes to see who might need the sweet melody of kindness in their life today, beginning with my husband.  And then I begin my day, expecting.  However, some days, (most days?)  I begin my day by doing my chores or being irritated at a family member who didn’t do their chores and all thoughts of being kind are shushed like the soft pedal quieting piano strings.  It takes discipline to sit at the piano and learn its keys.  It takes discipline for me to turn my heart and mind towards kindness.

 I am not kind, intuitively, naturally, but I’m committed to practice its way. I am committed to play on.

PS- If this resonates with you then hear this…The Beyond Kindness Tour is right around the corner!  Stay tuned for more info how we can become a virtuoso in practicing Kindness!

 

CONGRATULATIONS  to Sharon Hensley, Renee Mueller and Holly Schaude for winning a copy of A Selfish Plan to Change the World by Justin Dillon .  Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

be kind book

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