“I see you. I see what you have done for me. You have been kind to me. I know it takes work to be kind. I feel special that you did the work of being kind to me. I am grateful.”  -Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Is kindness a lost virtue? In the world today, we are bombarded with images of our fellow man ignoring the opportunity to be kind. From turning away from someone in need and glancing at the ground to avoid eye contact, to teaching our kids to dislike certain things just because we may have been taught to dislike them. So often we put blinders on when the chance for a kind act presents itself. Let’s hope it is not a lost virtue, but one that is just lying dormant waiting for the right time to re-emerge.

Kindness can take effort. You begin by observing things outside of yourself. Recognize and acknowledge the opportunity to be kind. Then you can put the kindness into action by acting in a kind way or saying a kind word. When it comes to people who are different from you, be it in a cultural, political, or religious way, the effort to be kind could be an even greater challenge, but often times with greater efforts come greater rewards.

If we begin to make the effort, no matter who the recipient of our kindness is, our example of kindness will cause a snowball effect. That person, wanting to pay it forward, may begin to put forth the effort in their life and so on. I remember hearing a story about this huge church in South Florida where they decided to do an experiment where you would go to a drive through, or a restaurant, or even a grocery store, and pay for the person behind you. You would hear stories from all over the city of how this would start a trend. Everyone began to pay it forward and show kindness to the person behind them. That person getting the idea from the previous. In some instances it went on all day. In others, lives were changed. People were changed. All because of one seemingly small act of kindness. If feels good when someone does something kind to you, and it feels even better when you get the opportunity to spread that kindness to someone else. Show kindness and watch the miracles that come of it. You life and your mind set can be changed and your soul can be healed.