The story is told in a variety of ways of a young boy who was walking on the beach. He noticed that a seemingly incalculable number of starfish had washed up onto shore. With great urgency, the young boy began picking up the starfish, one by one, throwing them back into the ocean. An older gentleman noticed the young boy and went to offer some advice. “Young man, have you seen how many starfish are on the shore. There are simply too many. You’ll never make a difference.” The young boy picked up another starfish, looked at the man, threw the starfish in the ocean and said, “I just made a difference to that one!” As we go through life, we know there are opportunities for us to do good and show kindness. But sometimes, we look at the world around us, seeing the chaos and turmoil all around, and feel as though there’s simply too much negative in our world, that our simple acts of kindness will never make a difference.
But our kindness does have an impact. Aesop, the Greek fabulist and storyteller, is credited with saying, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” The apostle Paul wrote a letter to a group of people who lived in a place and time that was filled with idolatry and rampant with persecution, especially against those who were followers of Jesus. As he wrote this letter, he encouraged the people to remember the impact they can have on those around them. He called on them to think critically about the way they lived, about their manner of life, and about their influence on others. To this group, Paul wrote, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Be kind to one another. This word “kind” can also be translated as good, mild, pleasant, or benevolent. It is often used as the opposite of harsh, hard, sharp or bitter. Be kind to one another…that is the call. Amelia Earhart said, “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” Our acts of kindness, no matter how small, positively impact those around us, they result in more kindness springing up.
During the month of December, our WindSong Kids are taking the Kindness Challenge. They have a calendar with a challenge for every day. I want to invite you to take this challenge with them. You can find the calendar by visiting our website (windsongchurch.org/windsongkids). You know, a great way to Be the Good is to develop a habit of daily acts of kindness, of thinking about and putting others first. Remember, no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Let’s take the challenge, Be the Good, and be kind!