Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Showing Kindness

There are some wonderful blessings that come from being a part of a family! And even more if you are part of a large family, which I am.

A few days ago, I had a brother and a brother-in-law come to my house to fix things for me. One is an electrician and the other is an all around handy man. My brother, the handyman, works so fast that it’s hard to keep up with him. If he didn’t have other people around, he would get the work done in half the time! One thing that just amazed me – one of my security screen doors didn’t latch unless you used the deadbolt part of the lock; the knob just didn’t catch. We have almost no tools to speak of, so I thought he was not going to be able to do anything about it. WRONG! He whips out his Christmas present, a Leatherman tool, and opens the file blade and just starts filing away at the area that needed it. It only took about 5 minutes and he had the door actually catching like it should!

In our family we have members with all kinds of skills; from legal and financial, to building, to hair & makeup, to carpeting, to music and theater, to organizational, to computer and so much more. Each person in the family has more than just one skill. It’s a collection of all the things they have learned through their lives.

There is no better way to learn to love someone than to help them, and no better security than to know you can call on them whenever you need their help. If you are lucky, you may have this kind of family or live in this type of community or belong to a church that helps each other this way. I think that if more people were willing to give just a little service to others in their daily lives, lots of problems would disappear. I know there would be more happiness in the world.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal… Charity suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up (Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:1, 4)

But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. (Book of Mormon, Moroni 7:47-48)

And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love…with a perfect love; and … all alike and partakers of salvation. (Book of Mormon, Moroni 8:17)

Our area has lots of “snowbirds” during the winter months and many of them just have a hard time at the store. They can’t reach something or they can’t lift something. When I see this, I usually offer to help them; I am basically able-bodied and have the ability to do these little things better than many of them, so why not help. When I see the tears in their eyes or the stunned look on their face, I realize that I have done more than put laundry detergent into a cart, or reached the bottle on the top shelf. I realize that one simple Random Act of Kindness has made 2 people feel more valued.

“I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show, Or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, Let me do it now, as I shall not pass this way again.” The Dalai Lama