By Paige Hamilton
Remember the story of the Apostle Paul being shipwrecked found in Acts chapters 27 and 28? At the climax of this adventure, Paul along with 276 others finally swim from the wrecked boat to an island. Immediately “the people who lived there showed us extraordinary kindness, for they welcomed us around the fire they had built because it was cold and rainy.”
Kindness is a Christian virtue, listed among the fruits of the Spirit in the book of Galatians. A kind person might be described as friendly, generous, and considerate. Kindness is not based on convenience, who is on the receiving end, or gaining any positive attention for the action. Instead, a kind person intentionally thinks about others, even when it is not easy or when there will be not be a reward.
The good news is kindness is a virtue that is easily caught. Most of us have been on the receiving end of a kind act and then wanted to pay it forward. That’s why one of the easiest ways to teach children to be kind to others is to simply practice being kind.
October is a great month to practice kindness. Saturday, October 17th is Sweetest Day, a holiday that focuses on doing something kind for a person who might be “forgotten” by society (i.e. widows, elderly, orphans). Perhaps your family would like to start a new tradition of celebrating this little-known holiday.
Start by talking with your child about kindness, and why it is an important virtue. Read scriptures about kindness.
Take time to notice kind acts around you. Talk about how kindness makes you feel, and practice thanking those who are kind to you.
Finally, help your child make a list of kind things they can do for others. Pick one or two from the list to do each week
during the month of October.
Make October the sweetest month of the year by intentionally being kind.