I was at a traffic light when I noticed a bumper sticker on the car in front of me. It read “Let it begin with me.” It is not unusual to find bits of profound wisdom popping out at us from the least expected places. The problem is that we often overlook these gems and go right on living life the way we always have. For me this “red light” event was an epiphany.
When I saw that bumper sticker I immediately thought back to something that happened last week. I was at a local breakfast spot. As I sat down to read the newspaper, one of the regulars came up to me and handed me a newspaper. On the front page was an article about Central Nursery School and our Executive Director, Lauren Sposato. She said she thought I might like to have it.
I can’t tell you how much I was moved by this simple act of kindness. My morning had started off poorly. This thoughtful gesture changed everything. It made my day. My whole outlook shifted and I marched boldly into events that followed. The truth is that when we reach out to someone else with an act of kindness or consideration, it really does make a difference.
The woman blessed me with her thoughtfulness. The world would be a much better place if all of us did things like this. It was more than a random act of kindness. It was targeted to brighten my day. What if we thought about the people we see every day and looked for ways to bless them. A small gesture on our part could make a world of difference to someone we know.
Jesus suggests that this should be a way of life for his followers. In Matthew 7:12 he says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” In other words, if you want to be faithful to what God calls us to do, then do what you want others to do. We call it the Golden Rule.
Can you imagine a world where every interaction with our neighbor was based upon the way we would like them to treat us. Jesus takes this a step further. He tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. In essence he is saying that we should give the people we meet the same type of respect, honor, courtesy and forgiveness that we grant ourselves.
Jesus calls us to be more understanding and tolerant of others and to freely give the same amount of grace that He gives us. It seems like a tall order. Yet, it can begin with just one person accepting the challenge to live that way. Like the ripples on a pond, kindness seems to grow and expand as far as the water will carry it.
So why not start your own circle of kindness? Do something nice for a friend, or better yet, a stranger who looks like they are having a bad day. We can begin to transform the world and make it a kinder, gentler place. We can work to make the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King and other social reformers come true. All it takes is a simple act of love. I pray it will begin with us.
The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Westerly.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.