“While Kindness has a connotation of meaning someone is naïve or weak, that is not the case. Being kind often requires courage and strength.” – Karyn Hall Ph.D., Psychology Today
We have become so rushed in society, making it easy to prejudge and dismiss people that we feel aren’t worth our time. It is far easier to say, “It’s not my problem.”, than to step in and help sometimes. We miss the moments when an act of kindness could make the biggest impact.
If you have ever benefited from a generous act of kindness, you know how special it is and how much courage it can take. One amazing example of kindness in the Bible is my namesake…Ruth.
“But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law (who were now widowed), “Go back to your mothers’ homes. And may the Lord reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me…But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” – Ruth 1:8-16
Ruth knew that as an old widowed woman Naomi would live a challenging life and likely not survive. So instead of returning to the security of her family home, she chose an ultimate act of kindness. Her decision required complete dedication of her time and all the courage she could muster as she moved to a new country and culture to care for Naomi.
If you have read this incredibly redemptive book then you know the outcome was much better than either Naomi or Ruth could have ever expected. But it would have never happened if it had not been for Ruth’s courageous kindness.
I’m sure if you look back on your life, you will remember acts of kindness that completely changed your perspective or helped you push past life barriers. Make it your personal mandate to look for ways to invest courageous kindness into people who you may have pre-judged in the past. Maybe that is buying a homeless person their favorite meal and telling them they are loved, learning your neighbors’ names and noticing when they need help, or finding the shy person in the room and including them in a planning team.
Get radical and creative with your acts of kindness. They won’t always come out the way you planned but that is why effective kindness takes courage. It is worth the risk to watch the change as one person feels special, see a look of realization that someone cares, or have an impact in changing someone’s life.