Be Kind signs can be seen everywhere you drive, while watching tv, and even when browsing the internet. The first time I noticed a Be Kind sign I thought it was rather nice. The more I noticed, my thoughts slid towards isn’t it sad that we have to post signs everywhere to remind us to Be Kind? Of course, this coming from the person who displays quotes everywhere! Maybe it was my mood that day that made my perspective switch? Regardless, Be Kind is a great message and a simple reminder to make an intentional decision to Be Kind in all situations. Be Kind because everyone is fighting a battle that you may know nothing about.
A similar message was brought up in a recent Kansas Leadership Center class I attended about extending grace. It was in the context of, we are all new to this format and will undoubtedly make mistakes so extend grace as we work through it together. I have thought of that message many times since that day as we all navigate new technology together, new health guidelines together, new challenges together. I think of it as people are sharing their point of view on wearing masks/not wearing masks, getting a vaccine/not getting a vaccine, gathering in groups, traveling, shopping, and the list of topics that we all have opinions on could fill a book. We all have history and circumstances that shape our opinions, but next time before you need to be reminded to Be Kind, I hope you will choose to extend grace.
As we continue to face challenges together, I wanted to share this gentle reminder of “Nine ways to extend grace to others” from Author Dawn Klinge.
1. Words- Be kind and gentle in what you say and how you say it.
2. Look for Needs and Opportunities- simple everyday kindnesses and actions often help in great ways.
3. Let it Go- respond to others with grace. Sometimes people are going to be rude. Instead of responding harshly, keep a calm spirit.
4. Be There- Sometimes your presence is all that’s needed to show someone they’re loved. Be happy with the person who’s happy. Be sad with the person who’s sad.
5. Forgive- when someone asks you to forgive, do so graciously and without correction.
6. Learn to Ask for Forgiveness- be quick to apologize when you make a mistake or have wronged someone else.
7. Watch the Way You Speak- be careful how you express yourself
8. Gratitude- say thank you often and let people know how much you appreciate them.
9. Take an Interest in Others- learn about other people, ask them questions, listen and care.
I hope your attitudes and actions will always include extending grace….. and being kind. 😊 ~ Debbie Hawkinson, Executive Director, McPherson Chamber of Commerce