Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kindness begins with me

I want to be kind to ev'ryone,

For that is right, you see.

So I say to myself, "Remember this:

Kindness begins with me."

Somewhere in the middle of the night, I awoke to this particular song in my head, especially the last line. Kindness begins with me. My mom used to sing it to us when we were younger. Kindness begins with me. What does that mean to you? I feel like I have lived a thousand lifetimes, been a thousand different people, tried things a thousand different ways. I have periods of my life where I was very angry, had a terrible temper and a very short fuse. I have also had times of being snarky and trying so hard to be funny yet tear people down in the process. And yet other times when all I could see was the best of people. I remember in college I took a psychology class and one of the requirements was working in a detention center for juvenile delinquents. I worked with a particular girl, sort of became like a big sister. I brought things in to do different activities. Like paint nails, or build a gingerbread house. And in the process met other girls. I still to this day, look back and think this is completely bizarre, but all I could see is their light and all I could share was my own. These girls were in this place for some really horrible crimes, horrible, but all I could see were daughters of God, who just wanted so desperately to be loved and thought of in a good way. And all I can think of is, Don't we all? Don't we all want people to see the best in us. We all fail, all the time, we all come up short, we all don't measure up to any sort of measuring stick. And who does the measuring? Don't we all have some sort of standard we hold each other up to and if we don't measure up we find fault or persecute or find ways to justify our measuring. I know I do. And it's weird because it seems like I have a different measuring stick for different people. Well they know better so their measuring stick is much larger and so and so have a different life so I am going to be more lenient with their measuring. I have a friend who grew up in his family. He never measured up. He was never good enough, he was always the black sheep. I don't know about you, but there is something so amazing about black sheep to me. They have this humility and truth I find so refreshing. This friend is one of my favorites. He just wanted to be thought of and loved. All I can think of is the adage if you look for the bad in people you will surely find it, but if you look for the good you will also find it. But yet at the same time I think of people who try so hard to be something they're not that their facade tries to mask the true darkness inside. So what do we do? I don't know. Now I have confused myself entirely. We should try to see each other as Christ would, but He also told us to beware of wolves in sheep's clothing. I think I need to go back to bed. But for the last thought, let's try being a little more kind to people a little less judgemental. Beware of the few wolves and love the sheep and try not to make any sheep into wolves, because they are just trying to be sheep. The end. Good night.