4 S’s to Show Kindness

showing kindness

Author Leo Buscaglia once wrote about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to identify the most caring child. The winner was a four-year-old boy whose next-door neighbor was an elderly man who had recently lost his wife. One day, the little boy saw the man crying. So, he walked into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he said to the man, the little boy said, “Nothing. I just helped him cry.”

That little boy showed kindness to the old man. And kindness is one of the great pillars of love. Author Rick Warren says there are four things we need to do to show kindness to others.

1. See

See the needs of people all around us—physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. That means you and I need to stop and look. Be observant. The little boy saw the need.

2. Sympathize

Sympathize with people’s pain and struggles. The little boy sympathized with the old man. We’ve got to do that and to empathize with them, too—to feel what they feel.

3. Seize

Seize the moment. Do what we can, when we can. Don’t wait. It’s OK that you’re interrupted. It’s OK that it’s inconvenient. The little boy promptly went to help the old man. He seized the moment.

4. Spend

Spend lavishly to meet the need. We should give our time, talent, and treasure to others without expecting anything in return. The little boy spent time just sitting there in the old man’s lap and helping him cry. The little boy loved that man. He saw, he sympathized, he seized, and he spent.

How are you showing kindness to others? Are you modeling kindness for your kids? Share in a comment.

(Portions of the foregoing were excerpted from All Pro Dad: Seven Essentials to Be a Hero to Your Kids by Mark Merrill, Thomas Nelson publishers, 2012; available at www.AllProDadBook.com)

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