The Year of Kindness

This past year, my colleagues in Christian publishing have treated me with immense kindness. Thank you.

I wish I could say I have witnessed the same kindness in other arenas. If you follow current events even as a casual observer, I don’t need to recount the bitterness and rancor over ideas, processes, and how to deal with misdeeds.

But processing debates helped me progress in my own attitudes. For example, I felt unexpected emotions upon seeing personal, nasty jokes about a political figure. Rather than finding the lowbrow humor amusing, I felt offended and then, compassion, for the victim. I realize those in the public eye know that being made fun of by people with opposing opinions “goes with the territory” so to speak. Yet when you run out of legitimate arguments and decide to resort to dirty jokes, you’ve lost the battle. Even the war. The forum of ideas can be enlightening when everyone is respectful. Bullying, mockery, and name-calling do nothing to elevate any exchange.

I hope people think of me as kind. Even so, rank “humor” and many other instances of meanness I witnessed, particularly in the past few months, made me resolve that the year 2018 will see me be as kind as I can be to everyone. I am hoping to take empathy to the next level.

May you experience the lovingkindness of the Lord, as well as everyone you encounter, in 2018 and beyond.

29 Responses to The Year of Kindness

  1. Loretta Eidson January 11, 2018 at 6:35 am #

    Such a timely post, Tamela. I started the reading the Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional in January. I totally agree and it makes me sad to hear the unkind, angry bullying that goes on in the world today. You are the most pleasant, kind, sweet spirited person I know. I am blessed to know you and have you as my agent.

    • Tamela Hancock Murray January 11, 2018 at 8:56 am #

      I’m privileged to represent you, Loretta! Though I’m currently reading a couple of devotionals at present, I’ll check out the kindness one you’re reading, too!

  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser January 11, 2018 at 7:12 am #

    Great post, Tamela. I tend to agree with Jewel; “Only Kindness Matters”. Kindness and civility are a gentleman’s touchstones, no matter what he may be obliged to do.

    Lord Byron described it well, in “Don Juan” (Canto iii, Stanza 41):

    “He was the mildest manner’d man
    That ever scuttled ship or cut a throat.”

  3. Edna Davidsen January 11, 2018 at 7:56 am #

    Dear Tamela!

    Thank you.

    I enjoyed reading your latest blog post “Kindness” here on the Steve Laube blog.

    I think I understand what you mean when you write:

    “I wish I could say I have witnessed the same kindness in other arenas.”

    Sure, there’s an increase in the bitterness in the public space today.

    Your example of working on our own attitudes is the best we can do in the current environment.

    I feel the same way about it when politics gets personal in public.

    It’s not a way to win any war to resort to dirty jokes, as you say in your blog post.

    I think of you as kind, I think of you as someone who’s adding value to the online Christian community.

    Keep up the excellent work.

    God bless!

    Right on my way to Twitter to share.

    Edna Davidsen

  4. Sami A. Abrams January 11, 2018 at 8:00 am #

    I see such extremes everyday as a teacher. Kids can be the kindest people out there, and then turn into the biggest bullies. Hmm, wonder where they’re learning that. I am excited to say, there is more kindness in my classroom than ugliness. It makes my heart happy.

    And trust me, Tamela, when I say you have nothing to worry about in the kindness department. Just talking with you, you bubble over with joy and kindness.

  5. Elaine McAllister January 11, 2018 at 8:32 am #

    Well said! May we ALL attempt to be more kind in the wake of a society which has seemingly turned from such lofty goals and succumbed to the opposite! Well said! Thx for sharing!

  6. Cindy Fowell January 11, 2018 at 8:46 am #

    Tamela, thank you for your thoughts and even kindness in writing this post. You put into words what I struggle with in listening to the news and other voices around me. Kindness – I think I just found my word for 2018.
    Thanks and God bless.

  7. Tamela Hancock Murray January 11, 2018 at 8:52 am #

    Thank you all so much for YOUR kindness and encouragement!

    I have experienced kindness on this blog and across social media. For example, on Facebook, one of my recent questions brought about spirited debate — more spirited than I anticipated it would ever generate — but I read the comments and found them to be enlightening and informative. If we Christians never express and exchange opinions, we will all live in our own little shells, never realizing someone we respect and like could have legitimate reasons to hold a different perspective.

    Many of my dear friends offline hold differing views than I do, but they help me understand why they differ. I really appreciate them as well.

    I am so appreciative of the community where God has placed me. You rock!

  8. Bob January 11, 2018 at 9:37 am #

    Tamela: great post. So true of our times, unfortunately. As believers in Christ, we have the Holy Spirit as our helper to guide us, our heart and tongue. Hope to see you at FCWC in Feb. 2018.

  9. Patti Jo Moore January 11, 2018 at 9:51 am #

    Very well-said, Tamela – – Thank you!!
    I completely agree with your comments, and it has bothered me a lot when I’ve read supposedly “humorous” posts (especially on Facebook) that are offensive and unkind.
    You seem to be a very kind person and I’m sure anyone who knows you would agree! 🙂
    For me personally, it all goes back to the Golden Rule: Treat others as I would like to be treated.
    Have a wonderful day, and thank you again for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

    • Tamela Hancock Murray January 11, 2018 at 10:36 am #

      Thank you for your kind comments — illustrating that you follow the Golden Rule!

  10. Rebekah Love Dorris January 11, 2018 at 10:24 am #

    “The year of kindness.” Sounds like a plan! And if ever there was a poster child, you’re it! God bless you with a year of giving, inspiring, and reaping kindness!

  11. Lynda Boucher January 11, 2018 at 11:51 am #

    Well said! Thoughts of kindness in words and actions seem to be on a lot of folks minds these days. As for me, I’ve been working on my next blog post the past couple days, and it also revolves around “kindness.” Has God placed this on many hearts for such a time as this?

  12. Beth K Vogt January 11, 2018 at 12:09 pm #

    My One Word for 2018 is “kindness”. Like you, my heart was burdened by all the divisiveness and cruelty I witnessed in the past months — on Facebook, in the media — and then God impressed the word “kindness” on my heart, along with Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to one another …” Like Loretta, I’m reading The Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional (quite motivating) and I have a colorful quote posted where I can see it every day: Throw kindness around like confetti!” What a fun visual, yes? May we reflect the lovingkindness of the Lord to others in 2018.

  13. Debbie Wilson January 11, 2018 at 1:59 pm #

    Amen, Tamela. Well said.

  14. Edward Lane January 12, 2018 at 10:53 am #

    The political arena has become vile. Agree with you. Hope for improvement in 2018.e

  15. Vanessa Burton January 12, 2018 at 12:59 pm #

    This is a fantastic point, especially regarding the bullying. Society desires children to stop bullying one another, but when they see everyone around them doing it, how will they learn it’s bad? Thank you for your honest words!

  16. Donna Rhine January 15, 2018 at 3:38 pm #

    I loved your post, Tamela.
    Being kind has such a reciprocal effect. So often I walk into our grocery store, tingling with excitement as I ask, “Okay, Lord, you brought me to this community, how do you want to use me today?” Each time I am amazed and blessed as I smile, greet and talk with complete strangers while I shop. Oh, sure, it takes extra time, but I pray that in some small measure I have made a difference.
    Thanks for your encouraging words.
    Donna Rhine

  17. Anne Carol January 16, 2018 at 9:20 am #

    Thank you for posting this, Tamela. I feel the same way. I don’t enjoy all the discord happening around us. We should be praying for our leaders, not mocking them. This world needs more kindness, and it starts with us. Reading your words is a good reminder of my own role in creating a more positive environment.

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