Rediscovering the Virtue of Kindness


Rediscovering the Virtue of Kindness

Kindness is defined as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.” Mark Twain describes it best: “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Unfortunately, modern society associates acts of kindness with naivety and weakness. It seems people have a “survival of the fittest” mentality. This mindset teaches us that survival — a basic instinct — means to only look out for ourselves. The needs of others aren’t as important as our own and if we can’t satisfy ourselves, why would we waste time on others.

The lack of kindness is a topic that consumes me.

Lately, my heart aches for the unity our nation should stand for. I see people divided with no respect for the common goal. Due to differences of opinions, personal attacks have become the norm. Conversations never become productive, as they are full of anger and selfishness.

God’s word, in Colossians 3:12, teaches us, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” I always try to remain aware of my interactions with other people, but what I often see in our current discourse is a lack of kindness. We’re quick to anger and offense. We’re quick to harsh words. I know I have been guilty of this.

With the many crises we currently face, this may not be completely avoidable. I have seen many times kindness be the first thing to go out the window when everything you love is threatened. Compromise is a dirty word. There is no common ground because we believe we have nothing in common.

But is this a life we want to live? Do we want to be on edge at every moment?

As a society we can’t go on like this. We can’t go on treating each other with hatred. We can’t go on treating each other with a lack of care. If we are to have any society worth living in, we have to rediscover the virtue of kindness.

This is easier said than done, but let’s start by reaching for the open hand rather than the clenched fist.

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Erin Martin
Hello! Erin here! I was born and practically raised in Chattanooga, minus a few years as an Army brat. I graduated from Bryan College with a degree in Accounting/Business and currently work as corporate accountant. My husband, Michael and I live in Ooltewah and have been married 8 years. During this time, we have had some serious fun, hard discussions and added two pretty spectacular kids to the mix, Charlotte (5) and Jack (3). I love Jesus, books (so.many.books), coffee, coffee (not a duplicate) and TN Vols football! As a family, we love animals; farms, fishing, aquariums, zoos. If it’s got animals, we are there! Charlotte and I are travelers, but we are slowly getting the boys on board. We camp with friends and family (full disclosure: in a camper!), and I have been known to encourage dancing in the rain and splashing in mud. It’s good for the soul! Happy reading, friends!