“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”

— Albert Schweitzer
When someone does a good deed that impacts us, we respond with gratitude.  Gratitude is the outpouring of thanks that occurs in response to the actions of another; and we should always remember to express our thanks to those who reach out to us.  Kindness differs from gratitude, because it begins deep inside of us.  Kindness has no need for another’s actions to call it forth.  We choose kindness as an intentional way to live our lives; and when we do, we commit to acts that can truly transform other people and change our world.
The easy path is to wait for the actions of others and then respond in kind.  If someone is generous, I will share in return.  If someone wounds me in any way, I will be sure to strike back.  If someone walks by with eyes turned away from me, I will refuse to see that person, too.  The choice lies between following the rules of “an eye for an eye,” or opening our eyes and truly seeing others with compassion and recognition and a desire to call forth their very best.
When someone is generous, I will celebrate their generosity and encourage their good deeds.  If someone wounds me, I will forgive and model kindness for them to see.  If someone ignores me, I will greet them and let them know that I see a brother or sister when our eyes meet.  Kindness can take anger and melt it into peace.  Kindness can give recognition to the good that lies in someone who feels invisible and call him into the light.  It costs nothing, but kindness can truly transform the world wherever we let it shine; and when we choose it, we find that we are transformed as well.