So if you’ve read my last post, you know that I was a camp counselor this summer. One of the issues that often arises when you force a bunch of kids to be in community with one another for an extended period of time is exhaustion, which then often leads to some form of hurt feelings.
Little sleep, a lot of play, too much time together and soon kids become hypersensitive to comments that are made, and comments quickly become short and snarky.
So when any sort of bullying or negative comments appear at camp, we nip it in the bud. I’m a fairly tolerant person, but I have absolutely no tolerance for bullying. So when an issue came up at camp we sat our campers down and told them essentially “Being mean in any form or fashion is unacceptable. We are made out of God’s love and we are to show that same love to one another.”
And I’ve been thinking about this concept recently. It’s easy for us, as outsiders to look at a situation that we may think is below us and say “Hey, that’s actually really mean.” But when we’re the one’s partaking in such a situation, we have an incredibly hard time hearing that phrase from others.
If we, as adults, could hold each other as accountable to kindness as we do our children and our campers, we would have a world of such love and beauty.
To me, kindness is simple. It is so simple to be kind. Kindness is to speak out when you have love to share and to bite your tongue when you don’t. It’s to be as helpful as you can, when you can. It is to be gracious and compassionate. It is to love our neighbors. Kindness is simple.
But kindness isn’t easy. It’s hard for us, as humans, to only speak out when we have love to share. It’s hard to be helpful when you are busy with your own problems. It’s hard to be gracious, and it’s hard to be accepting. It’s hard to love people we don’t agree with or get along with.
But I think that is what makes kindness so beautiful, and if we could all live with the determination to be kind to one another, that beauty would shine through us.
To live simply is not to take the easy route. To me, living simply sometimes involves bucking up and doing what is hard because in the end, what is hard is often what is good. So, may we always choose to do what is hard, and may we always see the good in that, and may we always choose to show our neighbors simple kindness.