When Henry James, the famous American author, was saying goodbye to a nephew, he said something the young boy never forgot.
What he said was this: “There are three things that are important in human life. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.”
Be kind. Although kindness isn’t the same thing as holiness. Kindness is next to holiness, because that’s the way holiness usually enters the world.
Be kind to yourselves. Stop forever blaming yourself. Stop forever feeling guilty.
Be so kind that you never despair of yourself. Be kind enough to remember that although you once did things of which you were ashamed, God has a good forgettory, and if you were really sorry, God gave you a new start.
Be kind to others. Be kind enough to others and try to really hear what lies beneath the words they speak.
Remember most people need encouragement, and maybe God has placed you here so you can be an encourager.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta said this: “Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier.
“Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting….
To children, to the poor, to all who suffer and are lonely, give always a happy smile– Give them not only your care, but also your heart.”
To which we would all answer: “Amen!”
Or, as Stephen Grellet once put it:
“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now.”