Selma wrote a post about kindness a few days ago that made me reflect further on the subject. It is a good topic, after all. Could even be taboo, at times.
Oh, how we wish for kindness to shroud the world we live in, every single day of our lives. How nice it would be if everyone offered grace, compassion and sacrifice to each other. Even better, if we ourselves could individually manage to strip our thoughts off of doubt and suspicion, just so we’re free to offer these priceless gifts whenever a predicament calls for them.
But alas, there exist factors that make kindness a difficult stunt to pull in many a circumstance. Difficult, at least, in a sincere or blindly courageous fashion. Kindness, also, is like a familiar acquaintance. You know it, but really, you don’t. Not as much as you want to admit, anyway. And ironically, it would serve you well to be wise in your encounter with it, lest trouble comes your way.
In this day and age, showing kindness may truly seem like an act of sacrifice. Like we’re about to lose something by committing it. Or pay for its consequences. How unfortunate this is. Yet, how many times have we read in the newspaper about a good samaritan who tried to offer help in an emergency situation only to be caught in a web of misunderstanding and sued for getting involved, to begin with? What are the chances of regret here, you think? Or say, how many times have we hesitated on an opportunity to assist in a crisis or some volatile situation, for fear of our own safety? Or, do you remember years ago, when someone sued McDonald’s for allegedly getting burned after sipping hot coffee? It’s easy to take advantage of each other. Easier than showing kindness, that’s for sure.
A couple of days ago, I wrote in a jokingly manner about the priest who had planned on staging an online beauty pageant for nuns; for those interested in vying for the title, Miss Sister 2008. Well, a news update from yesterday saw an abrupt change in plans. Rev. Rungi was met with opposition from his superiors and have now decided to suspend the event, for being misinterpreted. I could go on and joke further about how I knew it was too crazy of an idea to even consider, from the get-go. But the fact is, I totally understood the priest’s sincere intention to show kindness to the community of nuns, by doing something that may encourage them and help them build a new-found esteem for their chosen vocation. However, in a world where fear and legalism pervades a global culture, this “act of kindness” was already bound to be riddled with critical bullets, from the beginning.
Sadly, there is hardly anything we can do in this world that will not, in one way or another, meet with some form of denunciation and disapproval; even if our intention is rooted in kindness. If Jesus was killed for having kind motives, what’s our excuse, really? Human beings are judgmental in nature. We are enslaved, in one form or another, by this appalling trait. I believe, it is our moral duty to be aware of this ingrained attribute of ours and unshackle ourselves, and each other, from such evil chains that keep us from being truly free.
Now, what I have learned is that it would obviously do us good, to both be wise in all circumstances, as well as be kind in all circumstances. However, my question remains. Should being wise come before being kind? Or the other way around? For one must trigger the other.