Mankind is your business!
When I notice a theme reoccurring, I pay attention. Lately, I've noticed a theme of being kind and loving, especially to your friends. Remember that line from Dickens' A Christmas Carol? It came to mind recently: “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.“ I think we need a reminder of that. We bear the responsibility to spread kindness in our world (neighborhood!).
Too many of us are walking wounded, hurt deeply by circumstances and callous people. One of the kindest gestures is speaking considerate words. A gentle word can make all the difference in someone's day.
We also need to speak words that bind up the broken pieces in others' hearts. When you ask someone how they are, you really need to listen. You need to hear what their heart is telling you. Sometimes, even words aren't necessary. I have issues with rejection, so my desire is to be accepted. One day while I was chatting with a group of friends, a fairly new friend casually reached over and removed a stray hair from my jacket. She had no idea how loved and accepted that simple gesture made me feel.
I'm always about kindness. Years ago, I was the recipient of some very cruel behavior. But instead of hardening me, it's made me much softer. That experience has taught me the heartbreaking lesson that no one needs to be kind to me—so when someone expresses kindness, I take notice and am grateful. I'm sure I'm not the only person who recognizes kindness, so be aware of moments when your words or actions can be a blessing to others.
The Bible tells us the tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). You can speak life or you can speak death. With that power, shouldn't we practice life-giving words?