“Random Acts of Kindness Day” was last weekend, and so last week’s blog was about a sign making picking up pet poop a kindness to others. Later that week, as I drove along the highway, I noticed an electronic reader board flash the word Kindness but was not able to stop and investigate further. Last night I was able to pull over safely, park, and get a better view. A strip mall, hosting Habitat for Humanity and Play it Again Sports, features the electronic reader board. I read through the message cycle. My initial feelings of delight dimmed as I read:
“Kindness Should Not Be Random. Kindness Should Be Intentional. Kindness Should Be Planned. Kindness Should Be A Habit.”
While I appreciate the sentiment to call for kindness, the very nature of kindness is an act of generosity, caring, Barmherzigkeit (compassion) and Mitleid (empathy). The demanding and chastising tone of this “should” message goes against the intent. I have a great button that says, “Don’t should on me.” This bit of humor is an invitation to consider that how comments are spoken can change the way they are heard.
Habitat for Humanity embodies kindness as their mission supports housing for all. I am grateful for their reader board and their desire to encourage kindness within our community. Perhaps the following message would be more in harmony with their mission and the nature of kindness:
“Let Not Kindness Be Random. Let Kindness Be Intentional. Let Kindness Be Planned. Let Kindness Be A Habit.”
I think I’ll write to them and suggest this …