Last month a former co-worker died.  She was also a friend.  Deb helped me understand the struggled my Mom was going through with her health because she was dealing with some of the same issues.  She counseled me on patience and kindness by being witty and funny and kind. Death has taken a wonderful wife, mother and friend, but she left a lasting legacy.

Today I want to talk about kindness because kindness is our way to combat the little cruelties that take up parts of our days, and the horrors of illness and death.

Be kind when it easier to be snarky.

Be kind when you want to be cynical.

Be kind when you are the most frustrated.

Most people are trying their best. You are too.  Do better by reaching out. I regret not writing Deb a card a few months ago when I thought of her.  Life and the twenty things on my to-do list got in the way. The to-do’s that matter are care and consideration.

Life is too short.  We lose people far too early. If someone matters to you, show them. And even if that person doesn’t matter to you the way a family member or best friend does, we all matter and deserve humane treatment.

The messages in our culture right now are very negative. What is more counter-cultural than kindness towards enemies, towards those who are hurting most, towards ourselves. I can’t think of many things that are as freeing as an attitude of gentleness in this world.

You may never know what someone is going through or what sorrow lurks in their lives. Be gentle and leave judgment behind.

There are a few people in my life who are deeply frustrating- they do things that I don’t understand and they sometimes make my life a little harder. But who cares? I want to treat them with respect and let go of anger and frustration. It crossed my mind today that the person who frustrates me is the person I should reach out to the most and be kindest to.

I’ll be trying that from now on.