Love Your Neighbor
By Bruce Boyer
The Kindness Revolution is a national non-profit initiative with the mission to raise awareness of kindness in our communities and schools. It is the idea of Ed Horrell, a motivational speaker and author of several books on this topic. Horrell’s original concept is based on:
- Schools: Encouraging students in our schools to be more respectful to their peers, teachers and parents.
- Business Community: Expecting a little more in the way of customer service from the companies with whom we do business.
- Leadership: Deserving more in the form of civility from our business leaders and politicians.
- Gratitude Toward Others: Reaching out to others in our communities who are making a difference.
The Kindness Revolution has been embraced by State Farm Insurance agents around the country, including those in Kernersville. Local State Farm Insurance agent Kevin Bugg is spearheading the Kernersville effort of the Kindness Revolution in 2017. “Like a good neighbor,” they are encouraging people to post acts of kindness they have observed on the Kindness Revolution Facebook page.
The NBC Today Show has also embraced the concept on their morning show, encouraging viewers to document one million acts of kindness. Acts posted reveal the genuine goodness of people and the many dimensions in which we can show kindness to others. It is a positive reinforcement that can encourage others.
Have you ever played Secret Santa? You secretly leave gifts or perform acts of service for someone without their knowledge of who is the giver. That is part of the game – watching the recipient try to figure out who is doing nice things for them. Why is being anonymous important? It encourages the recipient to do something nice for someone else, attempting to reciprocate to someone else. It can create a domino effect, snowballing into many people doing kind acts for others.
What would our world be like if we experienced a culture of kindness that is passed on to an ever-widening circle of people? I think that is what our world needs. We are going through a phase in our country in which we blame everyone else for our problems. We look at people in a negative way if they think differently than us.
So, how do we break the cycle? One way is to show kindness to others, especially people in need of encouragement. Breaking the cycle is an intentional process of showing kindness, and not just hoping it happens.
Jesus said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matt. 7:12). The Golden Rule starts with us. Acts of kindness are the “fruit of the spirit” – characteristics we display because of our faith. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23).
Let’s change the culture around us and watch it spread in every direction, like ripples caused by a single pebble tossed into a still pond. The ripple effect can go a long way toward starting an epidemic of love to many people.
Never underestimate the power of a single act of kindness. Your act may be just the added lift that someone needs to go from falling to flying.
Bruce Boyer retired after 44 years in non-profit management. He has authored two Christian devotional books, “24/7 – Stories of Faith from Everyday Life” (2015) and “Touchpoints of Faith” (2016). If you would like his free weekly devotional story emailed to you, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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