I was thinking today about kindness.
Sometimes, people that have had someone be unkind to them, then feel like it's okay to be unkind back. Case in point:
Terry and I recently read a facebook post where a woman, using a whiteboard to write on, was berating her employer for all kinds of stuff he had done, using pictures of her and the whiteboard. She ripped him a new one, and then quit her job.
And then, the boss linked to her post, and proceeded to rip her a new one, calling her all kinds of names, using posterboard and pictures. You see, it was justified, since she had started it.
In a world where we talk about how we need to have kindness for everyone and all situations, the problem is that kindness only needs to happen if the other party is kind in return. If there has been a perceived offense involved, then all kindness can cease, because they deserve it. And the world is all about retaliation.
I was reading this scripture in Matthew 5 the other day:
38 ¶Ye have heard that it hath been said, An aeye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
So often, things that are perceived as offensive, were not meant to be offensive. They were things said in the heat of the moment, or things that were said without thinking them through completely. Most of the time, they were not meant to be hurtful, and yet they are. How do we respond to that?
Choose not to be offended. Choose to be above those feelings. Choose to be happy. President Eyring told us we could have Zion, here, if we would do two things: Choose not to be offended. Choose to forgive.
I was also reading a talk given by Marvin J. Ashton, in which he states:
"Proper attitude in this crisis-dominated world is a priceless possession. Never before is it more important for all of us to move forward with conviction. We may be behind, but we are not losing if we are moving in the right direction. God will not score our performances until the end of the journey. He who made us expects us to be victorious. He stands by anxious to answer our call for help. Sad but true, many today are behind in their contacts with God and encouraging destructive attitudes toward self and fellowmen. We need to lead with good cheer, optimism, and courage if we are to move onward and upward."
The world is a risky place, where you can get caught up in the game of "I'm better (smarter, funnier, in the right) than you, therefore, I can say and do whatever I want to let you know, you are beneath me." This is not kindness. This is not making the world a better, or safer, place for anyone. This is destructive.
I can disagree with you, and we can still be friends. I can choose not to be offended by the things you say, and we can still move forward. I can choose not to retaliate, and instead, show kindness in return.
In the spirit of full disclosure, this is hard for me. When things are said that aren't true, I want to defend myself and others that are being talked about. I want to return fire for fire, and see what happens. But that isn't the example Christ set, and I want to be more Christlike. Sometimes, I just have to quit talking to someone, in order to maintain my composure. Sometimes, it's the only way for me not to pick that person apart. I know that's not the best solution, but right now, it's the only solution I have.
I would love to hear what you think about kindness, and vengefulness. But please, be kind in your comments. I'm trying to be uplifted, and would appreciate you supporting that also.
With much humility,