Try more gentleness and kindness
By Gary Andrews
Princess Diana once said, “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
There is so much truth in this. I have seen over my years of dealing with people that everyone has kindness in their heart, however it is characterized by the environment they are in or have been raised in. I have seen people of different backgrounds and walks of life issue kindness toward others that many have never thought would be possible. There are so many people that are touched by what we say or do, and many of us don’t realize the magnitude of just how far our acts of gratitude, kindness and gentleness will be carried.
On the other hand, people have done things that have affected our outcome in life, and many times we do not realize it until it is pointed out to us.
I remember a story of a U.S. Navy jet pilot that was shot down in enemy territory while serving in Vietnam. After his jet was hit with enemy fire he parachuted to the ground only to be captured and spend the next six years in a Vietnamese prison.
Many years after his release, he was sitting in a restaurant one day when he was approached by a gentleman.
The man said, “you are Plumb aren’t you?”
The ex-pilot replied, “I am, but how would you know that.”
The man said you were shot down over Vietnam after you had taken off from the air craft carrier Kitty Hawk and you parachuted to safety only to be captured.”
The pilot said, “you are correct, but how in the world would you know that.”
The man said, “I packed your parachute!”
The pilot, whose name is Charles Plumb, stood up to shake the man’s hand and tell him thank you for the good job he had done on the parachute, because it got him to the ground safely.
Plumb is now a motivational speaker, and he tells this story at most of all his conferences.
Not only does he tell about the man that packed his physical parachute, but he tells of the ones that packed his mental parachute, his emotional parachute and his spiritual parachute.
After meeting the man, Plumb couldn’t sleep and wondered how many times he may have seen this former sailor and didn’t speak or acknowledge him. After all he was a fighter pilot and the other man was just a sailor.
How many times in life do we face daily challenges that life gives us? How often do we miss what is really important by failing to say thank you, hello, please, or congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them? How many times have we missed a chance to give a compliment or just do something nice for a person?
1 Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
Can we honestly say that we live this verse? If we showed more kindness toward our family, neighbors, friends and everyone that we meet, this world would be a better place.
Are we packing someone’s mental, emotional, or spiritual parachute?
Prayer: Father I pray that I can be the kind of person that shows kindness to everyone. Help me to understand situations around me and not be judgemental toward others. Amen.
(Suggested daily Bible readings: Sunday - Jeremiah 9:23-24; Monday - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a; Tuesday - Proverbs 11:16-19; Wednesday - Ephesians 4:29-32; Thursday - Colossians 3:12-14; Friday - Zechariah 7:9-10; Saturday - 1 John 3:16-20.)
Gary Andrews is the author of “Encouraging Words – 30 days in God’s Word” an uplifting devotional book leading into a daily journey. To obtain a copy of his book visit his website at www.gadevotionals.com or stop by the Yazoo Herald for an autographed copy.