January 18, 2019

As I observed a dear friend I could see in his eyes and hear in his comments – someone had been unkind to him. Who was it - a parent, a lover, or a friend? Someone had scorched his heart in the past, so much so that it left an indelible mark that I could sense.

It was a gentle reminder to me of the unkind words I had said to others in the past. I remember their pain due to my careless words and actions. At the time, I vowed to try harder to be kinder. I found “nicer” words to say or said nothing at all. I learned.

Now I was staring into the gentle eyes of another soul who had been deeply hurt. It drove home the message – be kind to others, lest you create more hurt and pain in the world.

I thought about how we sympathize with the woman who endured physical or mental abuse. Friends encourage her not to accept such treatment. Subsequent lovers vow to treat her better.

This begs the question – how is it we can see the harm done to someone by other people, but we are often blind to how our treatment of loved ones is crushing their spirits, their hope and their lives? How can it be that it sometimes takes “seeing” the pain in someone else’s eyes to realize that we have done the same sort of damage in the past to others?

Next time you recognize the hurt in another, remind yourself to do better, be nicer, be kinder, and choose your words carefully, so you are not the perpetrator of such sadness. Lift them up with a kind word or smile.

I encourage everyone to think more about their actions and be kinder to each other. This is how God would want us to live.

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