The choice is really yours

lead with people speak with people Sep 22, 2022

When I was in my mid 20’s, I was asked to speak regularly on mission trips. I traveled around the US and South America and met people from all over. It was an amazing experience. I spoke in fields, in dilapidated buildings, in jungles, on the ocean and so many other amazing places. On one trip, I was on a Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico. Our group was walking around and inviting children to the Church’s vacation Bible school. For many of the mission trip participants, this was a pretty life rocking moment. Poverty was winning on this Native American reservation. Many of the homes were single wide trailers with no electricity or plumbing. There was no grass, just dirt and lots of dust. The children we came across were covered in dirt and looked like they hadn’t bathed in a long time. It was heartbreaking. 

We walked up to a home that had 4-5 toddlers on the front porch. The windows were missing and just had tarps in their place. The front door had holes in it and the screen door was missing the screen. But, these kids were so excited to see us! They jumped and laughed and clapped their hands and would not stop hugging us. They were missing shoes, their clothes were dirty and tattered. But their smiles were incredible. We were handing out beanie babies and inviting them to vacation bible school. Let me back up. They weren’t really beanie babies, they were a knock off, but you would have thought we just handed these kids the greatest gift in the world! It was a very sweet and heartwarming moment. Many tears were being shed from our team.

But, we were short on stuffed animals. This moment felt so tragic considering how in love these kids were with the gifts. We were just one short. As we handed out the last one, it was handed to a little girl who was probably 5 or 6 years old. She hugged it. Her smile was so incredibly huge. Her eyes lit up. Tears formed in all of our eyes. Then, she made a choice. It was a powerful choice and it has stuck with me all these years. 

She handed it to her little sister. She made the choice to be kind and generous. Her decision wrecked us! It really did! How often do we choose to keep everything for ourselves? How often do we choose to not extend kindness or generosity or love? I don’t know about you, but I would not want an inventory of my kindness choices to be out there for public view. This little girl, living in poverty, made a choice to be kind and gifted her sister with something that she obviously wanted desperately and loved. 

When it comes to kindness and speaking kind words, the choice is yours.

What about you? Are you making the choice to be kind? Is kindness an everyday practice in your life? Are your words filled with kindness? 

The choice is really yours. No one else can make it for you. 

If you make the decision to speak kind words and if your words are filled with kindness, you will breathe life into the people. And, science actually shows us that it's good for our brains and our emotions as well to be kind! So, if you make this a daily practice, your life will be healthier. 

The choice is yours. How can you choose kindness with your words today? Who in your life needs to hear the words that you have to offer? Is it your spouse? Is it your kids? A neighbor, coworker, boss or a stranger? 

Today is your day to be Kind! Tomorrow is your day to be Kind! It is THE Choice to make and it's up to you to make it!