I've discovered that the word kindness is not a noun. It's a verb -- and verbs express action. That's why the "kindness conspiracy" is simply putting kindness into action!
Most opportunities for doing good come across the ordinary path of our day. It may be as simple as a smile for a store clerk, an encouraging word said to a sad person or a word of recognition to a child. The bottom line of real kindness is a sincere interest in the happiness of others.
I love to read Luke 10:25-37 where Jesus so powerfully teaches us about kindness in action through the story of The Good Samaritan. Here, Jesus is telling the story of a man who was beaten and robbed and left alone alongside the road. Then, two men looked at him and just walked past the man. They did nothing.
Next, the Samaritan comes by and, seeing the helpless man in need, felt pity and reached out to help the wounded man. Jesus' concluding words to us in this powerful story are, "Yes, now go and do the same."
We are to love our Heavenly Father and then put that love into action by being kind to others. Compassion, to be real, must be put into action. The Good Samaritan showed kindness and we, too, should get up every morning and walk through our day looking for "Good Samaritan" opportunities.
We have to be aware that kindness comes with no strings attached. It doesn't work to play little games with kindness. This would be showing kindness just to get kindness back or to get attention or a compliment. This never is the motivation of sincere kindness.
We must expand our thinking outside ourselves and our interests. We need to gently take care of ourselves, but we must also have genuine interest in the happiness and well being of those around us.
What a difference it would make in our world if each person who follows Jesus would put the "kindness conspiracy" into action every day.
All of us have countless opportunities to be kind by doing the little things -- maybe unseen -- that make life better for someone else.
God's joy will come when I go about doing kind actions throughout my day.
I will forever take with me a quote from Mother Teresa, who says it so powerfully, "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." Every morning, it would be great to put these words of Mother Teresa into action!
I'll be joining the "kindness conspiracy" when I awake and say, "Today, with God's help, I'll be kind to myself and kind to others."
-- Rev. Marty Armstrong is a former pastor of Cathedral of Joy in Richland, now assisting senior adults in relocation. She attends South Hills Church in Kennewick. Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 333 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.