Friday, February 15, 2008

Kindness Begins With Me

By Kristine John

I've done a lot of thinking this morning about how our lives impact each others.
It's easy at times to believe that what we do does not make a difference, and that it really doesn't matter whether or not we take the time to make choices that make a difference in the lives of others.

I know, however, from a personal standpoint, what a difference it makes to have someone send a heartfelt note, detailing the impact of an action or a word, given in passing.
I can remember phone calls that were made "just because" and how much I needed to hear a friendly voice that day.
I can tell you that sometimes someone's arm around me, or a sincere smile, no matter how quick, has been enough to lift my heart and help me, in turn, pay it forward shortly thereafter.

We do leave an impact on the world around us, and as the Lord designed it, we actually choose whether that impact is primarily positive or namely negative.
Remember:

Matthew 25:
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


As an addendum to my blog, here is the following (received in e-mail form):

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read this straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America Contest.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners ofyesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers.
They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies.
Awards tarnish.
Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners .

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?

The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards.
They are the ones that care .

2 comments:

  1. Great thoughts, Kristine! And you expressed them so well. I find it interesting that you would post this particular subject. I just gave a presentation this week on that exact topic. I even used the Charles Schulz philosophy! I wanted to get across the point that it is impossible for us not to have an influence on others. the rest of my objective was so teach that being good enough is not about being the best. It is about helping others be their best. Thanks for such great validation!

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  2. Right on, Kristine. I get one of the most comforting feelings, ever, when somebody actually thanks me for having said or done somethng to lift and edify them. If I passed on half the good thoughts I have for individual family members, friends, acquaintances and even politicians, I might get hoarse from constant talking, but who knows what good it would do--mostly to me.
    The Schultz thing sounds familiar, but you and Kari are way ahead of me. I wouldn't even know where else to find it. But this I know. ANWA is a place where kind, upliting thoughts seem to predominate. I love it. And you.

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