We continue to hear about being kind in today’s culture. It may be part of a tolerance message, but we need to examine our hearts and ask ourselves why we don’t always like to be kind at the end of the day. Different and change can be unsettling to our daily lives. A change contains an element of uncertainty. What used to be a given or constant in your world is now changing or looks different, and you either don’t know how you will get your needs met or are unsure that this change will be beneficial.
You can disagree with someone’s thoughts, opinions, and actions and still be kind. A well-known Tibetan teacher describes the Buddhas teaching as “everything changes.” The one thing we can depend on, other than Jesus Christ, is that change will happen. We should focus on adjusting to that change and our attitude during that change. Understanding yourself and being self-aware is an excellent place to start.
- There will be a learning curve, so it’s best to put your patience hat on.
- Believe that there probably are some unseen benefits to this change.
- Ask others for help in navigating the transition.
Being kind to those with different thoughts and opinions can be challenging. There are some tips and tricks to make it easier.
- Ask questions and listen to try to understand their point of view.
- Monitor your reaction. When you do respond, watch your tone.
- Be respectful of others’ opinions; they have a right to their opinion as much as you do yours.
What does being kind have to do with all of this? My dad always told me, “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” If you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, your witness by action and words means more than your explanation of the gospel. You have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. We all come from different backgrounds, have different experiences, and have other fears because of those situations. If you seek to understand genuinely, you have to see the case from another person’s experience. For example, people’s beliefs and convictions regarding covid have to do with how you experienced it. If you had a family member or friend die of covid, you take the precautions more seriously. If you have a small business struggling, you might feel like it’s not a big deal, and everyone should get back to work. I get it; their livelihood is on the line.
There are many different ways and reasons to look at situations and circumstances differently. Before you judge someone or feel that their stance is unwarranted, take a walk in their shoes. Realize, but for the Grace of God putting you in a different situation, you may feel the same way. So be kind.