Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…

“Nothing beats kindness… it sits quietly beyond all things.” Charlie Mackesy.

I was waiting in line at a sandwich shop the other day when an older gentleman in front of me turned to look at me and smiled. He told me that he liked my shirt and thanked me for wearing it. That day I was wearing a simple t-shirt with the words “Choose Kind” written in large letters across the front.

“Choose Kind” has become a sort of motto for me. I tell my own kids, and my students, that although we don’t always have a choice in what happens to us in life, we always have the option to choose how we respond. I try to keep my default response set on choosing kindness. There is very rarely reason to respond in any other way.

I’ve had a few conversations lately with people who work in service positions; these people are servers at restaurants, baristas, and grocery checkers. They have told me in shocking detail just how many people are treating them with anything but kindness. They are frequently yelled at, berated, and belittled. The vast majority of the insults that are thrown their way are in response to something that is in no way within the employee’s control. They simply become a target.

Truly, I don’t understand this. I see absolutely no benefit to anyone that can arise from this behavior. So, I choose to live my life with an attitude of kindness. When waitresses apologize for slow service, I thank them for being at work that day and giving me the opportunity to eat out. When grocers tell me that their shelves are empty because supply trucks are running behind schedule, I smile and tell them that I understand. My comments are frequently met with sighs of relief. Sadly, people have become accustomed to being mistreated.

I’ve enjoyed reading a lovely little book by Charlie Mackesy called The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse recently. It’s a short book full of whimsical illustrations and simple text that focuses on love and kindness. A favorite line says, “One of our greatest freedoms is how we react to things.” What a lovely way to look at life! We are blessed to have the option to choose how we respond. We can choose to respond with anger and hatred, or we can choose to respond with love and kindness.

I, for one, choose kindness. I hope that you will, too. Together we can fill the world with love.

Deacon Amy