Doesn't it seem that words can go in and out of style? Times when their importance is emphasized and others when they just fall out of favor or at the very least, off the radar screen?
Words like awesome. For a while there everything was awesome. From the flavor of the latest coffee drink to the glory of a majestic sunset, if it was good, it was awesome (and if you're from California, it was awesome dude).
I kind of feel that way about kindness. There was a time when we stressed kindness, to our kids, to our spouses and just to the world in general. We were taught that being kind was a virtue, that if you loved someone you were kind to them. Is it just me being cynical or is that not true so much anymore?
Kindness has gone from a virtue to a weakness. From aspiration to avoidance. In this me centered, paranoid culture we live in I think people are afraid to be kind, to trust and to be nice.
Somewhere along the line we have pushed the idea that "love is kind" into the corner. Now, love is grand and expensive and over the top.
Every day kindness has been replaced by lavish date nights or production style birthday parties. Somehow our husbands just being good, kind, hardworking men, isn't enough. They need to wine us and dine us and jet us off to far away locations and provide us with the latest gadgets, trinkets and decor...that's love.
And men look at all the stimulus available to them at every level and expect women to attain that level of perfection in their looks and their work and their homes.
It sounds grand on the surface but in reality, it's exhausting and unsustainable.
Marriage (and life in general) is hard enough without adding to it the expectation of living the life of a Hollywood couple. Real life relationships take work and forgiveness and acceptance of others short comings and in return theirs of ours. In reality, most of us will never board a private plane, travel with an entourage or even have a stamp in our passports.
We need to make that okay again. We need to make it enough to be kind to each other, to respect each other and to appreciate the occasional night on the town, even if that's just a trip to Sizzler.
A little kindness in love goes a long way in easing hurt feelings and overlooking insensitive comments. A little kindness to our children shows them that being at home is the safest place to be. A little kindness in the world can restore someone's faith in others and maybe even encourage them to be kind to someone else.
"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Okay, I'll jump off my soapbox now. Just don't get me started on gentleness...