Kindness – A Balm for Our Soul

Thought for the Day from Scott Ptak

“Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a hard battle…” Every time I see this quote – generally attributed to Plato, it causes me to see people differently – at least for a little while.

I know in my own life right now things appear confusing, hectic, frustrating, and a bit out of sorts – mostly due to some medical issues I was recently going through and the long-term consequences they may have generated. I think Plato was right. I am not alone or unique – if I am fighting a “hard battle” then those around me, although on different battlefields, are probably fighting a hard battle as well.

It’s when I take the time to ponder that quote and break it down that I am challenged the most to apply it to those around me.

Be Kind – Webster’s On-Line Dictionary defines the word “kind” like this:

1. Of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person: a kind and loving person.

2. Having, showing, or proceeding from benevolence: kind words.

3. Indulgent, considerate, or helpful; humane:

4. Mild; gentle

Be Kind – When was the last time you were “kind” to someone – where you and I got out of our own way and thought about somebody else first – without expectation of anything in return? Kindness is becoming a commodity more precious than gold or diamonds in the culture of “me” so often found today. A gracious word, a genuine compliment, a door held open, a hug or gentle touch – none of these things cost us anything but a bit of awareness, sensitivity and time. But, for the recipients of those simple acts, it may make all the difference in the world. To the forgotten, the lonely, the weary, the social outcasts, and the rest of us whose hearts genuinely need the touch of another heart, your kindness brings LIFE.

Everyone You Know – Pretty inclusive isn’t it? There is no one exempt from this – it’s an “all-skate” to borrow a term from my youth. Everyone in the pool – no exceptions based upon age, race, political views, gender or social status. I believe there is comfort to be gained from a shared common experience. So, if “everyone” is involved doesn’t it make it simple – you don’t have to go looking for someone to be kind to – it is a “we, they, and us” kind of thing.

Is Fighting – I have found those things that are worthy and noble and true are worth fighting for – until my last breath if need be. This is not fighting by the Marquess of Queensbury rules – no my friends, this is street fighting. In this kind of fighting you use every weapon, tactic, advantage, and trick in the book you have to win the battle, the war and the day. Something worth fighting for is something worth dying for.

A Hard Battle – What is your “hard battle”? Is it keeping your marriage together? Praying your children will not make mistakes that will follow them the rest of their lives? Financial struggles? Addictions? Keeping relationships with your friends or family? Are you fighting a hard battle for a noble social cause, against a disease or illness, against depression or issues of self-worth? Every battle is different – all fought against an enemy that is ruthless, cruel and cunning. The battle casualties are all around us – the walking wounded if you will. They, like we, all need gently tended to so that the next battle can be fought.

In years past, on my own battlefield, I was gravely wounded and did not think I would survive. Men who loved me fought to get to me, placed me upon my shield, and dragged me from the heat of the battle to a safe place. There they, and caring others, found the wounds, bound them up, nursed me back to health, and waited patiently until I was once again ready for battle. I emerged stronger and with more wisdom for the next battle – and with a far greater appreciation for the battles others are fighting. God took the pain, but left my scars so that I might be reminded that my victory was because He, and others He placed in my life, felt I was worthy to be rescued. And, so it is with you…

Your simple, but sincere, act of kindness towards another will help make the battle in their lives worth fighting for another day.