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Stories

Hold Fast to What is Good

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You’ve heard the jokes about blotting the year 2020 out of the calendar. It’s been a tough year no matter how you measure it. Nerves are on edge. We are impatient for the pandemic to end. The fragile economy leaves us with a sense of foreboding. And, of course, the election…

I have talked with family members about what I could write that would address our stress. Daughter, Sarah, suggested ideas that she has been working on all year for Wells Fargo employees. They are working on kindness in and through the workplace. They suggest employees do an act of kindness each day.

Some ideas:

  • Let someone merge into traffic
  • Buy someone an ice cream cone, cup of coffee, etc.
  • Do a chore for a neighbor
  • Don’t complain for 24 hours
  • Give up your parking spot or let someone else go ahead of you in line
  • Learn a kind word in a language other than your own

You get the idea. Acts of kindness are simple gestures we can do that have a significant effect on the well-being of both the giver and receiver. I told Sarah it sounds like Mr. Rogers. She laughed—and agreed. But there is real science behind this effort. Research shows that kindness increases levels of oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. You’ve heard of these--the love hormones, hormones that decrease depression and pain. What’s not to like? 

But behind the science is the Creator. God designed us to act this way. Not only do our bodies react positively but so does society. In Romans 12 St. Paul spells it out for us.

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another
in showing honor… Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another…
Do not repay anyone evil for evil…live peaceably with all…
if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty,
give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap
burning coals on their heads. Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good.

*Science,*God, *experience—all point to the positives of showing kindness to others. We still have four months left in 2020. Can we make them four good months? Consider at least one act of kindness each day—better than any pill we can take, and better for our whole world as well!

– Rolf Olson, Visitation Pastor

(for more suggestions for acts of kindness check out www.kindness.org or www.randomactsofkindness.org) 

 

Prayer

Lord of all, you created us for good. Inspire us to show it in all that we do. You have given us so much. Help us to find ways to reflect our gratitude.