Recently I was coming home on a flight from Chicago, having visited my children in Ohio. After we landed, the pilot said the usual things about how happy he was we had chosen to fly with the airline, and then when he finished, he said, “Be kind to each other out there.” For some reason, his message stirred my heart as a reminder that despite what it looks like after we leave the tarmac, despite the news reports to the contrary, most of us know we benefit more from kindness than anything else. Kindness is a choice. God told Moses that He would show kindness and mercy to anyone He wanted to. He could choose to be kind. In fact, He does choose to be kind. If He didn’t, no one would be left standing.

So, what is it that makes kindness difficult? Why are we more willing to offer criticism, accusations, and injustice? What is it about us that causes us to slip into the darkness, hide behind computer screens, hurl insults, and continue to add to the chaos? Why not simply give each other room to grow, to be who we are, and to shine a light on all that is good? My favorite quote from Mother Teresa says this:  “Spread love everywhere you go. First of all, in your own house. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”

Imagine what kind of world we would live in if we practiced this simple truth. Aren’t we tired of those things that grieve our spirits, causing only anger and depression? 

No one said it was easy to imagine the best, instead of the worst; to hear each other’s hearts, more than we shred each other’s words. No one said you would not feel insulted or belittled, or unfairly judged by others. After all, didn’t Jesus suffer those same things at the hands of both friends and enemies? But is that enough reason to trade kindness for hatred and apathy? Let’s challenge ourselves to be better people, kinder people who spread love everywhere we go. Albert Schweitzer said, “Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”

Perhaps the springtime brings us an opportunity to choose to let the sun melt our icy hearts and renew us so we can share love and kindness with one another.

Yes, let’s just choose to be kind!