Kindness is often seen as small gestures towards strangers such as paying for someone’s coffee or helping carry someone’s groceries.
But couldn’t, or better yet, shouldn’t our definition go beyond that?
What if we were to reclaim the definition of kindness?
What it we could transform it from a word that evokes fluffy pastel images, to one of sacrifice and determination?
Right now in Yemen there is a violent and deadly conflict going on. Cities are under attack, people are dying and many more are being significantly injured.
A civil engineering student, Nisma Alozebi decided she could no longer, “sit home and do nothing.”
With their local hospital under staffed, low on supplies and water, Nisma decided she had to intervene. She had not had any medical training, but went to the hospital anyway to help in any way she could.
When asked how she felt after seeing her first badly injured patient she said she, “cried like a baby” but was then able to help in the care of the thousands of injured people. (Read more of her account here)
Kindness sees the atrocities around us, and can not help but to move into action, to help those in need.
Kindness does not have limitations. Kindness does not seek out people who fit our ideas of who is worthy of our kindness, but instead helps those right in front of us.
In Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan there was an injured man on the side of the road. He had been beaten, robbed and left for dead. As people walked past him, ignoring the needs right in front of them this man surely would have started to lose hope.
Being in need, surrounded by capable people unwilling to help you would, and has left me feeling hopless.
In Nasim’s case, her kindness shows her countrymen that they as a community are not without hope, that together they can make it through the desperate times.
In Jesus’ parable, the beaten man was losing hope not only in humanity’s ability to care for people in need, but also his hope to survive.
By intervening in the lives of those around us, and even the lives we have the ability to touch around our world, we are delivering hope.
Kindness is not just an act of momentary pleasantries, but an intervention in someone’s life to fill their need and offer them hope.
How About You?
Who around you needs hope that you could provide with an act of kindness?
Next week I am looking forward to bringing a story of extreme kindness!
– Esther Aspling