Lawrence Lovasik has written a wonderful little book that I (Matt) heartily recommend, “The Hidden Power of Kindness: A Practical Handbook for Souls who Dare to Transform the World, One Deed at a Time.” In this week’s WealthNotes, we share some excerpts including some specific advice he has in Chapter 11 on one important aspect of kindness – the power of our words.
- The world needs kindness. By being kind, we have the power of making the world a happier place in which to live, or at least we greatly diminish the amount of unhappiness in it so far as to make it a quite different world.
- The world is unkind only for the lack of kindness in the individuals who live in it. It is, therefore, worth your while to take the trouble to understand the real meaning of this virtue. You can practice more easily what you already know clearly.
- Kindness is our imitation of Divine Providence. Not only is kindness due to everyone, but a special kindness is due to everyone. Kindness is not kindness unless it is special. Its charm consists in its fitness, its timeliness and its individual application.
- Kindness adds sweetness to everything. The secret impulse out of which kindness acts is an instinct that is the noblest part of yourself. It is the most undoubted remnant of the image of God , given to us at the beginning. Kindness springs from the soul of man; it is the nobility of man.
Following are some remedies for unkind words:
Learn to be silent, especially when you are angry or disturbed. Silence is not only an end in itself, but a great means to an end – a means full of grace. Love silence as one of the great helps to avoid sin, to safeguard virtue, and to grow in union with God.
Don’t repeat gossip or slander. If laziness is rightly called the beginning of all vice, that is particularly true of the sins of the tongue. It is said that talk is cheap, but like other cheap things, it is apt to become expensive in the end. Silence is golden; talk is brazen.
Openly oppose uncharitable talk or counteract it by eloquent silence. Most people would not talk so easily about the faults of others if they were not certain that their listeners like to hear what they are saying. The speaker makes the hearer the carrier of the evil messages and the hearer encourages the speaker by listening.
Avoid harsh words. Harsh words wound the heart and disturb the soul. Don’t be guilty of unkindness in a spirit of bravado by trying to coax forth laughter of others at the expense of someone else.
Bear with your neighbor in spite of his faults, remembering that you yourself have faults others must bear.
Pray for your neighbor. If you pray for unsympathetic persons half as much as you talk about their faults, how many sins would you avoid and how much happier your life would be? Pray for yourself also, that God may help you to become supernaturally gracious toward others – to add an encouraging smile to the word you may speak, a heartening tone to your often-colorless voice, and a gentleness of touch in the act that otherwise might be too rigorous.
The author’s words are powerful and likely convict all of us! Kindness can be lived in so many ways – but certainly our words (or lack) are one important way. Let’s show kindness – it helps us live a great life and oh how the world needs it!!
Written by Matt Palmer, Co-founder and Chairman
Source: Lovasik, Lawrence. The Hidden Power of Kindness: A Practical Handbook for Souls who Dare to Transform the World, One Deed at a Time. Sophia Institute Press, October 1, 1999.