Random Acts of Kindness
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10 NIV
Romans chapter twelve is a transition point in Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome. This is where he begins to talk about what Christianity looks like. The second verse challenges his readers to be transformed by changing the way they think. Essentially he is saying to them, and to us, don’t get caught up in trying to keep a whole bunch of rules instead use your gifts to bless each other. In verse ten he gives us a radical idea: outdo each other with kindness. Can you imagine a world like that?
This week is “Random Acts of Kindness Week”. All over the world people are intentionally being kind. What if we were to spend this week thinking of ways to be kind to one another and then following through with those ideas? How would that impact your week? It feels good just thinking about it.
Here are some ideas:
- Last week on, Valentine’s Day, the children in our day care made Valentine Cards which were distributed to patients by Spiritual Ambassadors. The patients loved it. One man said “it made him feel like family” and an older female patient said she felt like she had just received a precious gift.
- Andy Smallman is an educator, innovator and director of the Puget Sound Community School. Kindness is the foundation of his curriculum and he is inspiring students and their communities. One of the community activities the children have undertaken is placing inspirational notecards in random library books at the local library. “Learning about kindness is just as important as learning about math and reading”, said Spencer Shaw, student.
- Here is something your colleagues are doing: At the end of the daily huddle on the Orthopedic Unit, Associates intentionally select a colleague to receive verbal affirmations from the group. It’s beautiful!
- Every now and then I will pay for the lunch or breakfast of the person in line behind me at the checkout in the cafeteria. I love to see the joy it gives them.
- We are all busy people. Some of us are in a bigger hurry than others. The simple act of letting someone go ahead of you in the line can make someone’s day.
- I particularly enjoy it when someone with a full grocery cart allows me to go ahead of them when I only have a couple of items.
I like the Apostle Paul’s challenge to outdo each other with kindness. Will you rise to that challenge? Make this week the beginning of you being more intentional about kindness as a way of life.
Be a blessing.
Mark A. Stoddart, M.Div.
Administrative Director for Spiritual Wellness
Shawnee Mission Medical Center