To be kind was the second lesson I can remember being taught by my mother, the first being to love the Lord and all his people.
It is difficult for young people to imagine the BVI without electricity, potable water,(you draw water from a well with a bucket), motorable roads, only narrow winding paths for walking, an age when people shared live coals of fire. During that age kindness was the sunshine and glue in relationships. As I look back on my life, I can remember the first act of kindness I did which has had an indellible effect for good on my life. I was about seven years of age going on an errand for my mother when I met an old woman carrying three bundles.,(Boxes and bags were rare in those days so older folks in particular wrapped their goods in sheets of cloth- mostly flour bag cloth. She had one placed neatly on a cotta on her head and one in each hand. I could see she was struggling and I wondered what would happen if she stumped her toe for she was barefooted. I approached her and offered to help her to which she happily agreed. After a slow walk of about fifteen minutes, we arrived at her home. I assisted her to get inside the door and then began to run on mumy errand. She shouted and called me to her, then she said, "l do not have a piece of bread I can give you neither do I have a cent I can give you to buy a sugar cake." She then placed her hand on my head and in a prayerful tone said, "the Lord will bless you." I felt something like electical pulses running through my body and for a few seconds I was not sure what was going on. Finally, I said, "thank you" and ran off. When I read this quote by Amelia Earhart, I reslized something like that happened to me that day:
"A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees."
Joseph B. Wirthlin likened kindness to a passport:
"Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last a lifetime."
Robert Green Ingersoll identifies kindness as sunshine:
"Kindness is the sunshine in which virtue grows."
Mark Twain calls kindness a language:
"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hesr and the blind can see."
Our community has been slowly forgetting our heritage of kindness. Selfishness is overtaking it. We can revive it and help to reclaim the BVI we once knew. CoI is not our character.
A few words from Andy Thomas may help you:
"Showing kindness to others does not have to mean doing something big or life changing. Often it's the smallest acts of kindness that can have the most impact. A moment of support in a time of need, a quiet word of encouragement, a helping hand to carry a heavy load, or just a smile that ssys 'I see you' can make a world of difference."
Show a little kindness and brighten the corner where you are.
- Dr. Charles H. Wheatley