R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

kindness2My 2 ½ year old granddaughter is quite the imp.  She will grab something so fast and take off with it, one wonders what just happened.  It’s certainly not unusual for that age but the “after” story is what amazes me.

Her main target is usually some precious item belonging to her older siblings.  She will sidle up to them, grab whatever, and take off.  Of course, said older sibs will scream.  But, after a gentle reminder from Mom, they immediately change their tone and their words, asking in a kind voice for “little imp” to please return the item.  And immediately, she does!  I was incredulous the first time and even more so after multiple episodes.  EVERY TIME it worked!

It makes me think of how we treat others:  yelling at our kids (or our spouse), screaming at other drivers, showing impatience in long lines, throwing inanimate objects, etc.  It NEVER gets the results we desire.  Never, never, never.

Heck, I find myself yelling (on the inside) at myself.  It hasn’t helped.

The disparaging, demeaning, disrespectful words we use are so sad and so wrong.

There was a co-worker of mine, a long time ago, who had been my friend.  When I got a new boss, however, and he ran the ship totally opposite of my previous boss, this friend basically “unfriended” me before there was such a word!  My boss caused quite a rift in the organization and, apparently, I was guilty by association.  It was hurtful, not helpful and caused quite a deal of undeserved pain.

After my initial no-doubt wrong reaction, I decided to turn the tables.  I reached out to my former friend and “friended” her anyway.  I never spoke of the rift but just showed kindness and respect towards her.  You know the term: “kill them with kindness?”  It works!  Just as it worked with my granddaughter, it works with all of us.

I’m reminded of Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

After I got over my tit-for-tat mentality and focused on this verse, I sought to put it into practice.  It’s not a game and not a trick.  Because I know I am dearly loved by God and His grace toward me knows no bounds, how can I not reach out to others in love and kindness?  The end results may not always be what we humanly hope for, but I know we will be blessed.

So if, on occasion, some imp comes along and pushes your buttons, remember even a 2 year old deserves kindness and respect. 🙂

And. . . if you see me messing up, please be patient.  I’m a work-in-progress!

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