True Power

True Power

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Kinder and Gentler Nation or just you


I began wondering why are people so mean and hostile these days. Do Americans really have a lot to be upset about? We are still the country illegal immagrants risk their lives to come and start a new life the last time I checked. What is going on in America?

I once heard someone say everything they learned that was worth learning; was learned by fifth grade. When our children are born we sing them the ABC song and teach them to count to five and then to ten. We teach them their colors, birthdate, and address. Our dangerous society has forced us to teach them to watch out for strangers and to understand exactly who is a stranger.

As our children grow we reluctantly at times teach them about the birds and the bees and sex educators are telling parents to start teaching children about sex sooner than later. We get into the car with them and help them learn the laws of the driving world. We teach them all of the basics we believe they will need to be successful adults in their lives and in the world. But lately I've been wondering: 'Do we teach our children to be KIND?'

When is it exactly do we do our best to ensure we are raising kind people? In the South, many people see it as a sign of respect if young children are taught to say 'yes sir' and 'no sir.' We love to hear a 'thank you' or 'please' from anyone of any age. But all of the above pleasantries can be labled under respectful and are not indicators as to whether or not the people using thank you and please are kind. I believe the essence of 'kindness' goes deeper than words.

To do or be something one must first have a working understanding of the word, so let's look at the definition of the word KIND:

adj. kind·er, kind·est

1. Of a friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature.

2. Showing sympathy or understanding; charitable: a kind word.

3. Humane; considerate: kind to animals.

4. Forbearing; tolerant: Our neighbor was very kind about the window we broke.

5. Generous; liberal: kind words of praise.

6. Agreeable; beneficial: a dry climate kind to asthmatics
Now that we have the definition of what it means to be kind; we can now ask ourselves the important question whether or not we are raising kind children who will grow up to be a kind person, mate, co-worker, and or parent.
Within the family unit it goes without saying children are expected to be kind to their siblings, family pet and grandma and grandpa but who else does the parent insist the child be kind to? I do not believe there are any other names expected to be added to the KIND list outside of the family circle.
If we are not raising our children to be kind then there should not be an expectation of living in a civilized world. Remember it takes kindness to be friendly towards others. You have to be taught to have a warm hearted nature. It takes kindness to show sympathy or understanding or to be charitable toward another human being. Kindness has to be taught for one to treat another humanely, to be forebearing and tolerant of unintentional errors or even differences among people. A person who has been taught from youth how to be kind are more generous, able to give praise and to be more agreeable.
Maybe our world is suffering not so much because of the evils of the world and the people who inhabit it but because we forgot to teach our children kindness and now live side by side with unkind adults.
"Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." Colossians 3:12 New Living Translation Bible
"Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32 New Living Translation Bible
I hope this world filled with unkind people can be changed and when we look into the eyes of our new born baby; I hope one of our greatest desires is that that baby grows up to be a KIND person. A kind person is not a weak pushover but a person who examples God. God wants His children to be clothed in kindness. I have met people who wanted you to know they were meek, humble, and kind so you would know they were a Christian, but I am not sure they were kind so they would interact with others and the world in a different manner filled with compassion, tolerance, and understanding.
A kind person would not mind saying: "I am kind to strangers, I am kind to people who are different than myself, I am kind to those struggling with sin, I am kind to my enemies because I am clothed in God." I believe pride and fear would keep many from embracing kindness. We all wonder what will happen if we were kind to everyone. It is a valid concern, but we should also ask ourselves what type of person are we if we are not a KIND person. What is the opposite of KIND? 
The argument against being kind towards others suggests being kind means condoning wrong doing and this is in no way true. Understanding why people do what they do, because of Satan's misleading, allows you to have compassion for the person and knowing God can do a wonderful work in them the same way God did a wonderful work in you. Being kind keeps you from condemning others just as God holds off condemning you until judgement day. And just as in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, God is watching and waiting for His child to return to Him and has demonstrated through the parable His level of tolerence for that lost child as he went in search of what God knew would not be the child's happiness. At no time was God condoning the prodigal son's behavior, but kindness understood the shortcomings of the son.
Christian maturity is not easily obtained. Maturity itself is difficult for adults, but someone needs to be the grown up and grownups should have KINDNESS in their character. In the political arena, in issues that have pitted women against men in the home and workplace, and on the most segregated day of the week, Sunday; when the races/ethnicities go to their small corner of the world in their own church to worship, we can eliminate the petri dish in which unkindness grows and spreads by teaching our children the true and full definition of kindness.
Let's work together for a kinder gentler nation and let it begin by rearing children who have been taught how to be kind in word and deed.


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