By Sarah McDonald

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

– Mother Teresa of Kolkata

Very recently, I found myself in the familiar position of mediating a fight between two of my boys. Their tempers were flaring as they started raising their voices towards me as each tried to explain their side to me loudest and first – because, obviously, that would determine whose side I would choose, right?

I looked at them both, reached out my hands to each of them and quietly said, “stop, be kind.” Neither took my hand and neither stopped … at first.

I knelt in front of the younger boy who by now was in tears. I reached out both arms and said, “stop, be kind.” This time, the younger one embraced me. After a sincere hug, I turned my head to the older one, who had at least stopped yelling at this point. This time, I said, “take a break, when you’ve calmed down, we’ll talk, but you have to be kind to your brothers and sisters.”

Kindness is often lost in this society. Rather than being kind to someone we disagree with, we immediately label them the enemy.

Simple acts of kindness can be life changing, but should practicing acts of kindness really be something that seems extraordinary to us? As Catholic Christians we are called to be people for others and being kind to them is a good place to start.

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