Kindness is Cheap
I have been challenged. Challenged by a little book called The 10 second Rule. Challenged to be kind and sometimes do the unexpected and the inconvenient. Or rather - do the unexpected and inconvenient more often than sometimes. Maybe all the time.
What a great day that would be!! Oh... and be kind right away... within the first 10 seconds that you get the 'impression' or 'idea'.
What does it take to be kind?
- Putting my agenda to the side momentarily
- Being self-less
- Forgiving - thus enabling me to be kind to someone who may have wounded me.
- Listening, watching for opportunities...and going for it.
- Taking Risks.
- Putting aside my opinion & reaching beyond that - to be encouraging.
- Identifying my un-kindness and changing.
Ok - maybe kindness isn't cheap, for some of us it actually may cost a lot. Still I challenge you to try it. Rock your world.
So - What are the results?
- You MAKE someone’s day... they may be inspired to pay it forward & thus you have started a chain reaction of ongoing kindness around the world!
- You instill a new belief in the character of someone. You speak a positive truth they need to hear that launches them to a new level of belief in themselves.
- You save a life... just maybe your actions, your words gave them hope.
- You change your workplace, home or school environment. YES simple acts/words of kindness can change an entire business. Family environments can be turned right-side up.
- You change YOUR mindset. The reward is not only for the receiver... kindness has a way of paying it right back. Making us feel great.
- You give someone something they don't deserve... i.e.; a negative or mean co-worker may very well deserve the same treatment. But you turn things around by responding kindly. (Plan ahead how to respond to a chronic negative person. Keep your initial desire to respond in check and THINK before you respond.)
- You create an environment of positivity.
- You have impact on your world. Very simply by being kind.
Check-in with your attitude.
I had to ask myself... how do I make people feel? Am I kind? Am I negative? Am I cruel or just a little mean? Do I make fun of people? Honestly, I dug deep & I was convicted about my attitude in some situations. Ask yourself the same questions. We could all improve our Kindness levels!
Look for opportunities.
I now look for opportunities to be kind. I have it in the forefront of my mind. "what is next?"
Some of my experiences are;
- The cashier who is super slow and I, being in a rush, would like to let her know how inconvenienced I am.... "hold it Lori - speak kindly, say something positive".
- The friend who comes to mind when walking by the floral dept. "pick up those flowers for ______." "add a note of encouragement to them". (I haven't always been obedient to that prompting... thinking 'oh they will think that is weird." But I finally did it and the reward was amazing!)
- The neighbor (I don't know very well) who is struggling with a new serious health challenge. "ask her out for coffee to hear her story and struggle at this time"
- The teen who is quiet and awkward in social situations...yup - offer to be a grown-up friend they can talk to. (even if they don't talk much....after a while they will. Win them over)
- The Starbucks barista who is always upbeat and happy... take her for coffee and hear her story. Tell her how she inspires you.
- The work colleague who is often negative, offer to listen & look for a word of encouragement for them.
- The homeless person who asks for money... take them for lunch. (or buy them a meal or a hot chocolate)
- I know this one is weird, but if I dream about someone, I often look for a way to encourage them the next day.
- I did a month of texting a different friend every day with words of encouragement.
- I prayed for someone in the middle of Costco who had a tumor (she was a stranger, but had shared with me her health situation) Yes... that one was risky!
- When a young mom can't buy the groceries she just shopped for... and in tears walks away... pay for them.
- Pay for the persons Starbucks order behind you when you are in drive through... so they can't thank you & maybe they will do the same for someone else.
- Drop off groceries anonymously at someone’s home who needs them.
Set a goal.
I am always looking for new things and ways to be kind. My goal is to purposely extend new ways of kindness to someone every single day. (If you are in a negative environment 8hrs a day... you will have many many opportunities!!) You may have a goal of being kind everyday to the same person.
Have a reminder.
I have a reminder because I easily get caught up in my own agenda. I don't like being inconvenienced and I need stretching in that area! A wrist band hanging off my key ring, and a sticker on my computer remind me that I have a daily goal.
Read the book.
The 10 Second Rule by Clare De Graaf http://www.claredegraaf.com/10-second-rule/
Don't do it alone.
Encourage a friend to do this with you. Check-in regularly and share your experiences. This will not only be encouraging but it creates accountability to keep it going.
What's your goal?
What is your reminder?
Share some stories!
Lori, thank you for encouragement to live by the 10 second rule. When I wrote the book, I could never have envisioned how many ways Christians would use it in every day life! I love how you've grasped the idea of simple obedience and added some ideas of your own. Bless you.