Everywhere we look, there is difficulty in the world. People hardly agree on anything. If we say what we truly think about someone or any particular subject, we are in jeopardy of being called some name we know we are not.
Many people I know have decided to stop watching the news or talk shows. One person told me, “I just listen to music or read a book instead.” If they feel that way for themselves, they certainly feel that their children don’t need a daily dose of what our world is becoming. How can one explain to a child why people are fist fighting at Disney…or why people are rioting in the streets around the world?
Where is love in all this? Maybe one person that so many generations grew up with had the answer to a truly difficult world. His name is Mr. Rogers.
He was a Christian and a Presbyterian minister who knew God’s love was the way and the only way to reach beyond prejudice, politics or wars among ourselves.
He certainly understood Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. It was his way in trying to help children understand that we need to be kind to one another no matter whether we like a person or don’t like their actions. Kindness was at the top of all his program messages. The only way to get that back in our world is to find it within our own hearts and to teach it to our children by our examples.
Mr. Rogers wrote all his songs. One of his special songs that he sang was It’s You I Like. The words were special because he thought they were important for a child to understand about his or herself.
Written by Fred Rogers | © 1971, Fred M. Rogers
It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair
But it’s you I like
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys
They’re just beside you.
But it’s you I like
Every part of you.
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself
It’s you I like.
A movie has been made where Tom Hanks plays the part of Mr. Rogers. It will be a re-introduction to children and the world to a man and his message. Mr. Rogers probably never gave too much thought that his words could last long after his life. What a sermon to the world!
Whether you agree with everything said in this video below or not, it is definitely worth a watch. Enjoy….especially the children. They are beautiful in every way….and the future of our world.
President George HW Bush called for a “kinder nation” and from time to time we will see evidence that there are many kind people in the world. The shame is that most stories we see on TV or on the internet are of the violent and outrageous.
I began looking for some actual videos of kindness…or pictures to prove that it does not matter to what nationality or race one belongs…KINDNESS is kindness…and it crosses all boundaries.
I read about a woman on an airline who had a crying 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. A woman offered to help and hold a child throughout the flight. The mother was so grateful.
I understand this well in that I had three children on an airline from California to Florida. My daughter, who was a baby, cried off and on the entire trip. My sons tried to ignore it and curled up on the floor to sleep. That, in itself, was a no-no. I’m certain the other passengers were beside themselves with hostile thoughts, but no one wanted to reach out to help and make things better. We all lived through it…but barely. One does not realize that it is sometimes impossible to silence a tired, upset child who is used to his/her routine, safely back at home in the bed.
Another act of kindness was a young 13-year-old who went outside in the rain with an umbrella to help an elderly gentleman get home. There is definitely hope for the next generation. This young man made his mother proud…and he should be also.
I happen to be an animal lover. It is easy to love all animals. It is not so easy to love the down and out who may or may not have made their own bed and are now lying in it. Nevertheless, these are exactly the kind of people to whom Jesus Christ reached out …the beggar, the harlot, the unclean and pathetic. He calls us to do the same…not just during Christmas when we have a warm, cheerful heart… but always. We may be the only face of “Christ” that they will see…or the only hands and heart that shows God’s love.
Below is a video that calls for people of all walks of life to reach out to a fellow human being…or an animal that is in distress. Saving a life or making one just a little better is what we need today…this Christmas…and always. Bring your kindness to someone today.
Mathew 25:40 “…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me.”
If you have been to a major department store recently, you will see that the Christmas decorations are already out…and it is not even Halloween! This may also seem that a blog of this type is way ahead of the season, but even though it mentions the birth of Christ, it is actually the message of “giving of ourselves” even if it does make us go a little out of the way.
How often we don’t want to stop what we are doing to help out, but throughout the Holy Scriptures we are shown that going out of the way is God’s way. Remember those who crossed over to the other side of the street, but a man needed help. Only the Good Samaritan stopped to give assistance. There was a reason that he was named “Good”. Then there were the beggars and the blind, but Christ reached down to heal and give new meaning to a life. Just a moment of our time can change things more than we realize for someone else.
Think of this as you go about your weekend for I’m certain something will come your way that will make you stop and think that you can reach out and be helpful. We can GIVE of ourselves.
Video (Turn up the sound)
We have all heard the song, “I’ll be home for Christmas”, but what if some of the people you love will not be there? What if you were not invited to be with your family members in some other location? You may have a family member in the military that is far away and the thing he or she would like most is to be with family, but it is impossible. The song mentioned above is a heartbreak song for many.
There also may be family members who don’t want to share Christmas with you and have made that choice. It is never easy to come to the realization that someone does not want to be with you on one of the most special times of the year…especially for Christians. The question is…How does One deal with a reality at this time of year…or anytime, for that matter?
We really have one of two choices. It can be to let our emotions and disappointment weigh us down OR turn our directions toward a time of thankfulness for all the other blessings that we have.
First, look around you. Do you have other family members who are excited to be with you? Lavish them with your love…for they have not turned away. Do you have a roof over your head and food on the table? Rest in your most comfortable chair and eat with gratefulness. When the old, dark thoughts begin to come back and cloud your day, refuse them and look at the stars or the beautiful trees outside and realize that this life is too short to spend it in mourning…especially things that you can’t change.
Take someone by the hand and give them this message:
For us here in Florida, it may be down by the lake or through a green park, looking at the winter flowers.
Decorate a tree or a bush outside. Turn on some cheerful Christmas music…sacred or otherwise. I never knew how anyone could come up with lyrics like “Grandmother got run over by a reindeer”…but maybe it is good to chuckle and then shake your head because we would never say something like that about our Grandmother.
Give your pet an extra pat on the head and a bone in his stocking. What, no stocking for your dog!? Find one. Our beautiful 14-year-old Golden Retriever passed away this year, but I still strung lights around her memorial garden and whispered to her beautiful spirit, “These lights are just for you, Gracie”. Surprisingly, a beautiful rose appeared on the bush above her little tombstone in the middle of winter.
If none of these spark your imagination or lift your spirits about missing family or friends, turn toward someone outside the family. The scriptures tell us something that we should be doing, not only at Christmas but always.
James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
My husband and I have been surprised on returning to Florida from Virginia, how many people around us are either recent widows or in the last few years have become widowers. We decided to visit them for a while to listen to their thoughts and feelings. One lady has just recently lost her husband and will be having Christmas lunch with us. I mention this to say that when we are feeling “blue” about family situations, it changes things when we reach out.
Don’t forget the different organizations that make it possible to help children who are in need. Recently a child had written to her teacher that he only wanted Santa to bring a ball, some food and added…”I need a blanket.” If that does not pull you out of doldrums, you may need to examine charities like Samaritan’s Purse that brings smiles to children around the world. ( See Operation Christmas Child..Samaritan’s Purse)
Christmas is not all about giving or getting. I recently told someone that if I would receive a letter from my children saying anything of appreciation for me as their Mother, THAT would be “the best Christmas present of all.” So often Christmas is hard on those who have had expenses throughout the year and the funds are just not there for presents of any kind. Kind words and thoughtfulness is only the cost of a 50 cent stamp.
I close with this thought, with the help of a little friend, on the real reason for the need to choose a better outlook on the season:
VIDEO Winchester Cathedral Choir (Turn up sound)
To be kind is defined as benevolence, humanity, generosity, charity,sympathy, compassion, tenderness. One would think that it would be very easy to be kind. For some it is easier than for others. Usually we notice that a person is being kind, generous, compassionate when he/she goes out of his way to do something for another. It is amazing how much people also go out of their way to be belligerent, condescending, sarcastic, and even ruthless. Those who fit this description must go to bed each evening with very little happiness. There is joy in doing something for someone when we receive no credit or recognition. It is a little secret that we hide within our heart.
I remember when I was in college and had very little money for everyday spending. I went to my college mailbox and found a white envelope with my name on it. Inside was a $10 bill with a note…saying “something for one of God’s children”. That has been many years ago, but I have never forgotten it. Only God knows who sent it to me.
In the Holy Scriptures, Ephesians 4:32 tells us “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Why do we show kindness or compassion? It may be because there is a place in each heart, unless it has been hardened, that knows that we are blessed…and there is always someone else who has a life more difficult. We reach out because in the back of our minds we know that were we in the same place, we would hope someone would reach out to us.
We may be in the right place at the right time to see a heroic deed that goes beyond kindness. We call those people heroes. A kind person does not have a name…but the person or animal receiving that kindness will remember even if they don’t know a name.
Make this day a day to show your kindness to “one of God’s children…or small creature .”