Kindness Wins

Used as a noun, the word Pollyanna means an excessively or blindly optimistic person. As an adjective, it means unreasonably or illogically optimistic. (i.e.…She had some Pollyanna notions about world peace. I’m sure we all know someone who fits that description. If you really think about it, maybe it’s not a favorable trait always; maybe that person is simply naive? Though it occurred over 20 years ago, I will never forget being called a Pollyanna by one of the doctors I worked for at the time. I don’t remember the exact conversation, but it had to do with the kindness we showed to patients coming into our office and on phone call follow-ups. My co-worker was saying something about how hard it was to be kind sometimes because the patients were not that way! I insisted that kindness had to win out, and in the end was referred to as the Pollyanna in the office…for whatever reason, it didn’t feel like a compliment at the time.

I have noticed several blog posts, articles, etc lately about the lack of civility and the need for more kindness in our country. Somehow that Pollyanna conversation came back to mind for me. I don’t think that label fits me, but I know I’m not a “Debbie Downer” either! What I do know for sure is that we all would be better off if we're kind to one another.

I share A Prayer for Kindness by Emily P. Freeman from her blog Chatting at the Sky:

In a world where the rhetoric of leaders sounds more like the taunts of a playground bully, it’s easy to lose hope for kindness.
We admit it feels a bit like bringing flowers to a gunfight.
Teach us, Father, how to respond in love and not in fear.
Teach us what it means to speak with conviction without using words as weapons.
Teach us to carry both strength and gentleness, to offer kindness even in our anger, to listen before lashing out.
Remind us that kindness is not a nice thought for the grandmothers but a natural outcome for every image bearer who lives life in the Spirit.
You have given us a spirit of love, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. Show us what it means to offer these gifts to our neighbors, teachers, families, and leaders with confidence, conviction, and a sound mind.
May Your kindness be our steady filter and our sure companion.

Andrea Heshmati

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