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Kind in deed (07/15/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns
It's been said that the kindest thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. It is in the first home that a person's character is formed. Unconditional love is the catalyst for mutual respect.

Kindness is more than a personality trait; it's a way of living, of giving of oneself with no strings attached. Compassionate people put the needs of others before themselves. Often people of faith, they look on the bright side of things. Through sacrifice, they make the world a better place.

There's a Bible verse that says, "Don't let your right hand know what your left hand is doing." People who reach out to others with charity in their hearts just take their actions for granted - it's who they are.

It's heart wrenching to hear the details of losses in the aftermath of horrific tornados and hurricanes that raise havoc with entire communities. Images of such devastation reveal victims of diverse cultures, races, and social status. Regardless of the family's monetary worth, each has suffered untold loss.

No one rejects someone of a different race who comes to help in any way. In those faces, agony is apparent, and also relief for lives spared and gratitude to the many unselfish folks who rush to their aid. Sadly, it takes a tragedy to render us color-blind.

It's not hard to detect a compassionate person. He's the guy who goes out of his way to help a person stranded along the highway. She's the one with tears in her eyes while watching her granddaughter's school program. She or he sends lots of "concern" and "encouragement" greeting cards. It's a child who can't bear to see an animal mistreated.

The world loves a cheerful giver. Make my day! It takes merely a smile and a pat on the back to boost someone's morale. A sincere compliment, by note or by phone, just a few words of praise, and the blues can turn to rainbows. Being tactful and not hurting others' feelings takes empathy. A kind person is a good listener.

Think of small courtesies of everyday life. People in professions that aim to please and to provide services for the public can be genuinely helpful, while others are just putting in their time, less enthusiastic, and even rude. Individuals prone to kindness have a certain glow about them. Have you hugged a sunshine person lately?!

"Surround yourself with positive energy," a doctor once advised me. Wellness is about your own personal attitude, but, just as important, it's about those you associate with and spend the most time with. Optimists are uplifting and encouraging. Just being around these upbeat people can rescue one from the pit of a deep, dark well.

A kind person is: a grandchild generous with hugs and kisses, the neighbor who offers her moral support at a crucial time; a peer who befriends a classmate victimized by bullies; the shopper who insists that another move ahead in the checkout line because the pain is written all over his or her face; someone who skips lunch to deliver meals-on-wheels.

An individual who's kind indeed is slow to anger and quick with a helping hand, and has no penchant for gossip. To all those kind people out there, the ones who won't give themselves credit for anything out of the ordinary, please know that everyone knows who you are, even though you won't acknowledge it.

Generosity is noble. A good deed is commendable. Donations are appreciated.

A friendly word is encouraging. A HEART OF GOLD - PRICELESS!

Janet Burns resides in the heart of Winona County. She can be reached at




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