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Be first: Don’t wait for kindness to happen
Senior moments
Rich DeLong
“Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24
The other day a young lady came into my office looking for a job. She explained that she was the granddaughter of one of my coworkers.
I shook her hand and began to tell her how wonderful her granddad was. Not just as a work associate but as a human being – a real person of faith, conviction and integrity.
She smiled and thanked me for sharing my feelings about her granddad and agreed that he was a very special person.
Then she proceeded to tell me that she had attended school with my youngest daughter and felt that she was one of the kindest people she ever met.
Wow! A father always likes to hear something like that.
Over the years my wife and I have always tried to teach our children about the many facets of life: what to do and not to do; how things work and why sometimes they don’t work; how to make good decisions (in spite of making bad ones ourselves); and most of all to be kind to others – no matter what.
A long time ago I heard someone use the phrase, “Kill ‘em with kindness.” I can’t remember who it was or why they shared that particular phrase with me, but I hung on to the idea that kindness was far superior to anger and being mean towards another person.
Unfortunately, the tactic of killing someone with kindness today is often used in a sarcastic attempt to prove that “I’m better than you.” I’m no historian but I have to believe that was not the original intention for being kind in the face of irritation or displeasure.
I’m pretty sure kindness has been around since the beginning of time, and we certainly have more than enough truths that have been shared from one end of this earth to the other regarding the importance of kindness.
And yet we stumble quite often when faced with the decision to be or not to be kind.
Yes, it’s hard to be kind all the time. It’s even harder to be kind to someone who we believe doesn’t deserve our respect and concern. It appears as though the general rule anymore is that kindness is a two-way street.
In other words, in order to receive kindness you have to earn it. Again, I’m no scholar, but I’m pretty sure that is not the way it’s supposed to work.
As a former school teacher, I always felt it was important to demonstrate kindness to my students, knowing full well it might be years before the kindness I shared had some sense of impact or return –and it may not even come back to me.
I could only hope that showing kindness would generate more kindness down the line.
Probably the second best outcome of being kind is the feeling and respect that you give to yourself. Kindness is akin to behaving with honor and dignity. The natural impact on your self-esteem and self-worth is most evident.
If you desire inner peace and emotional wellness, then it only makes sense to be kind to others. Don’t wait for someone to be kind to you first in order to reciprocate the gesture.
You will be truly amazed at the impact your kindness will have on others and yourself.
What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness, my friends?

Rich DeLong is the executive director of Station Exchange Senior Care. Contact him at 912-531-7867 or

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