I was flipping through the channels, looking for something to watch while I exercised this morning. I caught the last few seconds of The Ellen Degeneres Show, as she was thanking her guests. Her last few words were, “Thanks for watching. Be kind to one another. Bye.”
Now,I find this fascinating. According to daytime television ratings, The Ellen DeGeneres Show averages about 5.2 million viewers per episode. As of May 31, 2012, there have been 1,508 episodes and every time Ellen goes off the air, she encourages viewers to be kind to one another. Ellen has a huge platform from which to speak and she could say anything she wants as she exits her show but she chooses to communicate the message of kindness. Whether you agree or disagree with Ellen’s lifestyle choices or worldview is irrelevant – she is right on when she reminds us to be kind.
This world certainly needs more kindness. The apostle Paul recognized this need a long time ago when he wrote the book of Ephesians – some things just don’t change because the human condition has remained the same.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4.32 NIV
There are people in our lives who are difficult to love. There are also people out there who are difficult to like – I have them in my life and I’m sure you have them in yours.
To be honest, I have more natural compassion for unloveable people because I move towards them with no expectations.
I personally struggle with unlikeable people. It’s the subtle “digs” that they give – their judgmental looks are caustic and their rejection stings. I’ve learned many times over that it takes humility to approach unlikeable people and express kindness to them, whether it be through my words or my actions. The moment comes and every cell in my body wants to naturally self protect and lash out…but Christ empowers me to take the high road. Not always…but increasingly more so…and the glory goes to God.
I have been greatly impacted by this quote by Samuel Johnson:
Kindness is in our power even when fondness is not. Samuel Johnson
What a powerful statement. Kindness is a choice, fondness is a feeling.
This world needs “one another” kindness.
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Proverbs 3.27 NIV