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Kindness Thursday

Social Transformation Month Part 1

By Barrington H. Brennen, December 4, 2014

 

 

Barrington H. Brennen

Today is the beginning of what I call Social Transformation Month in The Bahamas.  It is my national appeal for everyone living in The Bahamas to begin a war against anger, violence, animosity, and hatred by using simple humane and loving actions toward each other.  Each Thursday during the month of December I have decided to promote and ask everyone residing in The Bahamas to participate in a specific action that has been a part of our heritage for decades but seems to be diminishing.   [ See special page ]

 

I am inviting everyone to make the entire month a time of rebuilding, reconnecting, healing, and mending broken or wounded relationships.  Let us make December a month to start being nice, loving, humane and respectful to everyone—Bahamians, foreign residents, and visitors.  Hence, today is “Kindness Thursday”.   Next week, December 11, will be “Smiling Thursday.” On December 18, it will be “Friendship Thursday.”  On December 25 it will be “Giving Thursday.”  The final day in this social reform month will be on January 1, 2015 when it will be “New Relationship Thursday.”   These special days can also be observed in churches on the Saturdays or Sundays.  Thus we can have Kindness Saturday/Sunday.

 

What is kindness?  Here is one definition I like from Wikipedia.  “Kindness is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others.”   Note that to be kind we need first to generate an attitude of concern for others.  We cannot live as though we are all isolationists, cold, hermits, each one living on an island alone.  The words of a song come to mind:  “No man is an island . . .  Each man as my brother, each man as my friend.”  

 

Dear reader, acts of kindness towards anyone we touch can make a big difference in our land.  One author says: “An act of kindness is a spontaneous gesture of goodwill towards someone or something.”   Thus, today I am requesting everyone to do some act of kindness.  Make this entire day special in your life as you join everyone in the nation by doing something special.

 

BE WISE

While we are endeavoring to change our society through acts of kindness, it is imperative that we be wise.  “When carrying out acts of kindness, care should be taken not to intrude or embarrass. 'Discretion' is the operative word. Give your smile or whatever, and then move on, unless the receiver gives out signals that she would like to talk.”   

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY?

To be kind towards someone would require one to be observant and sensitive to what is happening around him.   For many, it will require that one comes out of her shell of reclusiveness or shyness to reach out to someone, even an animal in need.   Here are a few acts of kindness.   Help a disabled or elderly person across the street.   As you walk in to a store, open the door before you for the person behind you.   Give someone a glass of water to quench her thirst.  Offer to assist a needy person to clean his yard.  Provide transportation for someone to the store, even if it is someone you know but have never done it before.  Give an hour or two to help someone prepare her home for Christmas.   Cut the grass of a neighbor.  Give a homeless person your doggie bag.  Help someone whose car has broken down.  Be a designated driver.  Offer change when the person in front of you at the register comes up short. Return a shopping cart. Write a letter or send an email to a child or adult who could use some extra attention.

 

IT IS ONLY A BEGINNING

Dear friend, these acts of kindness are not to end today.  It is to mark a new beginning in your life, family and society.  We are not only to be kind on one day of the year but every day.  Let us all try a little kindness.  In the 1970s Glen Campbell made a kindness song popular that expresses the sentiment of this article.   The song is “Try a little kindness.”

 

“Try a little kindness”

 

If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he's sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and say "You're going the wrong way"

 

You got to try a little kindness, yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness then you'll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

 

Don't walk around the down and out
Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day
Will help someone along their way

 

 

 

 

Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board certified clinical psychotherapist, USA. Send your questions or comments to barringtonbrennen@gmail.com or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org  or call 242-327-1980 or 242-477-4002

 

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