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Just try a little kindness


Do unto others as you would want others do unto you; do not do to others what you don’t want them do unto you,” goes the golden rule we all learned way back in primary school.

Our instincts sometimes put us in highly unpleasant situations, simply because we fail to apply this basic rule and our high expectations often lead to frustration, especially in a group, as each person has a different perspective, which can lead to heartache when not properly addressed.

Our Catholic religion teaches us to behave as a family and to follow Christ’s teaching, so that if someone is at fault, they are set right in the spirit of kindness. I find that it hurts when people take me for granted, especially when I believe I am treating them as friends.

Instead of going around gossiping about me, I would much rather they tell me honestly what I have said or done to upset them, so that adjustments or improvements to attain peace with one another can be introduced.

There have been times when people embarrass me and I become defensive. I almost forget the kindness I know I possess and forget to follow Jesus’ dictum, “Love your enemies.”

I know that isn’t that easy, but with God’s grace, I have discovered that I can find the courage to open my heart wide and forgive both myself and others.

Then life becomes less stressful and more meaningful, as it is free from the bondage of heartache and its light radiates. Even a little act of kindness every day helps.

Kindness does not mean just being nice. Patience and understanding pay off as well. 

When people seem unfriendly, especially when there are language barriers or they are just very busy, I find a simple greeting with a smile can be as refreshing as the sunlight after a heavy rainfall. At least it conveys the eight-letter word, kindness.

In his book, The Servant, James C. Hunter says that kindness means giving attention, appreciation and encouragement to people, noticing and giving attention to their good acts and showing appreciation with praise; and giving attention to their foibles to encourage them to do better.

Let’s start every day with a bit of kindness.

● Terry Sugabogamao
St. Vincent’s