POWER WORDS # 5: KINDNESS
When business consultant Peter Drucker wrote that "manners are the lubricant of an organization," he was talking about KINDNESS. When best selling author Og Mandino declared that "a smile remains the most inexpensive gift I can bestow on anyone," he was talking about KINDNESS.
Webster defines kindness as being sympathetic and friendly and gentle and benevolent and generous. I like to define kindness as doing something for someone who can't repay you. Such a simple thing. And yet how powerful in its effect. One of the biblical proverbs says: "Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit" (Pr 15:4, GNB). If I can paraphrase a famous song of a few years back: "What the world needs now is . . . KINDNESS."
Why is kindness important?
Kindness is important, first of all, because of what it will do for us.
One of the most amazing "success" stories of our time is a little Albanian woman who became known all over the world as Mother Teresa. She did not have what the world usually expects to find in a person of great influence. She was not a big person physically, not a wealthy person financially, nor was she a person who wielded her influence from a position of strength. If we can capture the secret of her success in a single word I think it would be the word "kindness." In one interview, she was asked about her ministry to leprosy patients. She explained, "The only cure can lie in willing hands to serve and hearts to go on loving them." She was talking about kindness.
People will be drawn to us, not because of our power but by our kindness. Kindness is the lubricant in human relationships that captures the attention of others.
In addition, kindness is important because of what it will do for others.
A few months after moving to a small town, a woman complained to her neighbor about the poor service at the local drug store. She hoped the new acquaintance would repeat her complaint to the owner. The next time she went to the drug store, the druggist greeted her with a big smile and told her how happy he was to see her again. He said he hoped she liked their town and to please let him know if he could do anything to help her and her husband get settled. He then filled her order promptly and efficiently. Later the woman reported the miraculous change to her friend. "I guess you told the druggist how poor I thought the service was," she said to her friend. "Well, no," the friend responded, "In fact - and I hope you don't mind - I told him you were amazed at the way he had built up this small town drug store and that you thought it was one of the best run drug stores you'd ever seen!"
The man's actions were transformed, not by criticism, but by kindness. Kindness is a lubricant in human relationships that inspires others.
Also, you might remember the little rythmic song we learned with Mary Poppins, "Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicene go down..."