Acts 28:1-2 The Message (MSG)
Written by Mr Chris Breingan - Curriculum Manager
“Once everyone was accounted for and we realized we had all made it, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. The natives went out of their way to be friendly(kind) to us. The day was rainy and cold and we were already soaked to the bone, but they built a huge bonfire and gathered us around it.”
In recent weeks I have been challenged to consider how I am kind to others?? Yes, its easy to show kindness or to be kind to those we love or the people in our care, but I have been thinking about how do I show kindness to complete strangers? As the bible verse above points out, how have I gone out of my way to be friendly or show kindness to others?
It all started a few weeks ago when I was driving with my daughters in the car and my youngest pointed out that there was a homeless guy living in the park we were driving past. We all looked towards the park and sure enough, there he was lying on the hard, concrete floor of the rotunda, with multiple bags around him (probably holding in them everything he owned in the world), a shopping trolley and a couple of blankets. I realised that I had often seen this gentleman walking along the side of the road some mornings as I drove to work. I knew he was homeless but now I had pieced together he was probably the same guy that we had just spotted in the rotunda.
My daughter asked many questions about how this guy could live without a home, what would he do when it rains? How does he stay safe? Where does he cook his food? Why is he there? And then she asked, (I knew this was coming)…Can we help him? How can we help him? What sort of things could we buy and drop off to him? In that moment, not only was she asking me, but she challenged me…what will I do to show kindness to this man? For some reason, this man was crossing my path and I was faced with a choice…do I do something or do I drive by and not give him another thought? We spoke about the items we would buy and have now made a plan to drop some things off to him in a bag in the next few days.
More recently, a friend of ours told us about a new series on Netflix called “The Kindness Diaries”. Her words were, “you must watch this but be warned, we sobbed in almost every episode”. It is about a guy who travels around the world solely on the kindness of others. Often he is the recipient of fuel, food, a place to stay, but each time these people kindly and freely offer their assistance. Some he has a simple chat with and he is on his way, but others he truly connects with. They open up their home, share their thoughts and their trials, but they do this with an attitude of just wanting to show him kindness and help him.
These recent events have challenged me in my daily interactions with others…where am I missing the opportunities each day to show kindness? What are the small efforts I can go to through being kind that might ignite a spark in someone else’s day? It is often said there is too much selfishness in the world, why bother being nice to others, if no-one is nice to me? Just like the people in the show, by starting with the people in front of us and the people who come across our path each day, being aware of the opportunity to show kindness, the ripple effect of kindness impacting our world might just start with us.