Wonder tells the heart-warming story of August Pullman. The appealing message woven throughout the book is kindness: “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”¹
I think of myself as a kind person. I am thoughtful. I do nice things for family members, friends, and strangers. I serve in my community. But there are times I question the depth of my kindness, like when I am sitting in bottleneck traffic and someone cuts me off. Am I kind to the person in the grocery store who pushed her cart front of me? Life presents itself with many occasions when my own humanness and impatience negates my general desire to be kind. So I have made a resolve to be MORE kind.
Barbara Lewis says, “Thinking kind thoughts is a Christlike attribute. Kindness originates in hearts and minds. A lack of kindness can begin with critical thoughts of others, and it can develop into a habit of finding fault. However, if we accept responsibility for our own reactive thinking, we can become more charitable. Rather than judging others, we grow in understanding and kindness.”²
The Savior is the perfect example of kindness. He healed the sick. He served and loved. He fed thousands. He called for the children to come to Him. He showed compassion. He raised the dead. He wept. Jesus gave us the beautiful counsel to “love one another as I have loved you.”
I am making it my mission to remember Christ’s teaching to love one another, and showing that love through kindness. Instead of reacting out of frustration, finding fault or being critical of others, I aim to react with kindness. Instead of worrying about vehicles cutting me off in traffic, I resolve to be more patient. The power of a kind word or gesture to those we encounter in our daily interactions can be life altering. I imagine the positive impact my efforts will make in my own home. Simple acts of kindness, like a note in a lunchbox, doing someone’s household chore, making a favorite meal, or paying a compliment, will strengthen relationships.
I invite you all to join me on this journey to be MORE kind. Lives will be blessed as we seek to emulate our Savior’s divine attribute of kindness. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
¹ R.J. Palacio, Wonder
² Barbara A. Lewis, Kindness
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