While fetching my boy from school, a big colourful box with the words ‘Our Kindness Box’ in his classroom caught my attention. It brought back memories of Singa the Kindness Lion that was launched as our National Courtesy Campaign’s mascot back in 1982.
Its slogan went ‘Courtesy is part of our tradition, it’s so nice to be courteous.’ The campaign later became part of the Singapore Kindness Movement as a call for Singaporeans to become a more gracious society.
In a world that’s increasingly polarised, isolated, and edged with anxiety, practising kindness becomes a crucial endeavour. Deep disagreements can often flare into hostilities between the best of friends, tear families apart, and escalate into all kinds of wars.
While quotes like ‘Just be kind’ or ‘Throw kindness around like confetti’ have been popularised, they often oversimplify the true depth of demonstrating kindness in a world yearning for it.
Imagine how the world would be if kindness took on a more defining attribute among Christians? We’re not referring to a superficial mask of niceties but a generous way of life, modelled after the irresistible kindness of our Saviour.
Kindness is a radical commitment that calls every disciple of Christ to costly love. It seeks the greater good of others, including those who do not deserve it and may never love us in return.
Jesus instructed us to, “…love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil” (Luke 6:35).
For some of us, the daily commute transforms into a crucible where kindness is put to the acid test. How do we respond to the one who rudely cuts into our queue to board the bus, or to the car that haphazardly swerves into our lane without warning?
Or perhaps for others, biting sarcasm is the weapon of passive aggression to drive home our point more subtly, leaving a trail of lasting emotional damages in its path.
The prophets of old often declared the kindness of God to the Children of Israel but in the New Testament, the divine attribute of kindness is to be formed in us and manifested to those around us.
Proverbs 21:21 says, ‘Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honour.’ While kindness advertently affects those around us, it yields amazing fruit in our lives as well.
A life of selfless kindness can change the world for God’s glory. What’s in your Kindness Box?