{kindness} isn't free after all

Today is World Kindness Day and I keep hearing things like “kindness is free”, “being kind doesn’t cost anything,” which goes along with other misplaced sayings like “love should be easy.”

It’s a nice sentiment, I guess. But I’ve got to tell you- it’s really wrong.

I think part of the reason we think kindness is free… is that we think being kind is hugging your best friend (who likes hugs), or complimenting your boss’s shoes. Those are great! Can we talk about a deeper type of kindness though? One that costs your pride and sometimes, your logic.

Smiling at a stranger costs a little - what if they don’t smile back? What if they roll their eyes or snicker with their group? Hurts a little, but it’s usually pretty easy to get past - after all, it’s just a random stranger; who cares what they think?

And what about praying out-loud with your co-worker instead of just saying, “that must be hard.”? Costs a little more- what if it offends them and they stop getting lunch with you?

What about giving part of your income to those less fortunate? What about giving more than you think you feel is logical? It (literally) costs you.

Real kindness… it’s not free at all. It requires your vulnerability, your trusting someone besides yourself. Sometimes it requires that you give up your spending money so that someone else can have a meal everyday. I’m challenging you. (And myself, honestly)- to dig in.

Choose to be vulnerable.

Choose to trust.

Choose to give, radically.

Choose to respond with love in your arguments and differences.

Choose to write an heartfelt letter, not just a "I hope you feel better” text.

Choose to ask that stranger if they’re ok.

Choose to love, love, love. Always, love.

{Photo Credit: Matt Collamer}