I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness lately. What it means to be kind, and how unkind the world would have us be on a regular basis.
Now I know this is a strange thing to be thinking about but let me tell you why I’ve been stuck on it for awhile.
Kindness, real, true kindness, is rare.
Don’t believe me?
Take a minute and browse facebook.
Or even better, talk to a mom about another mom.
The truth is, people are more often unkind than kind. Being kind is not our default anymore.
While I am a self-proclaimed social media addict, I think part of our problem is that we don’t have to look people in the face anymore when we interact with them. And so we can judge. And we do.
And then kindness flies out the window.
But I have to tell you guys, I’ve found a community of the kindest, loveliest people.
Here are the shockers.
and it’s NOT the church.
No, this community is called a kula. It’s a sanskrit word meaning clan or community, and my yoga instructor has created a kula of yogis going through programs together. Let me tell you, the kindness and generosity of this kula has changed my perception of humanity for the better.
As chaos erupts all around the world, this kula has come together and loves.
When one can’t have an opinion on Ferguson or the Middle East or even motherhood without taking huge hits from those who believe other – this community is shockingly counter-cultural.
We celebrate with each other. Little things like finally mastering a difficult pose, and big things like getting pregnant or falling in love.
We grieve with each other. When relationships end and test results are bad.
It is truly amazing the outpouring of love and kindness that comes from this group.
It feels like church.
There’s no judgement. No putting others down.
It’s all the things that I have always wanted to experience at church.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have totally experienced this kind of church before.
It happens on Sunday mornings a lot. Almost always.
But that level of kindness doesn’t always stick around when we leave our pews.
When we go out into our jobs, on the roads, and online, kindness is hard to come by.
This morning, my favorite blogger, Glennon Melton, shared this thought on facebook when someone asked her how to go about being a more kind person:
“When you’re angry or jealous or irritated, wait. You have better to offer the world than your knee jerk reaction. I’ve found that the difference between hurting and healing, nasty and kind, wisdom and foolishness isn’t some spiritual mystery. It’s usually about forty minutes.”
Funny, but so much truth.
Let’s be kind today people.
Let’s take a moment and breathe before judging.
Let that mama make her own decisions before you tell her she’s wrong.
Smile and wave someone in front of you instead of cutting them off and making sure they can’t get in.
Take a breath before your lost patience causes you to say something you’ll later regret.
It’s counter-cultural. People are going to think you’re weird.
But being unkind doesn’t help anyone, it doesn’t make anyone feel better, and certainly doesn’t change the world.
So be kind.
Let’s be a new kind of kula.
The kindness kula.