Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kindness Begins With Me


I just recently read this wonderful talk by Mary N Cook. You can read it in full, here. I wanted to share some quotes from it. What a difference it could make in our lives if we always chose to be kind first, both in our families, with our children, our spouse, and even...with our enemies.

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" Benevolent is a lovely word that we don’t hear very often. Its roots are Latin, and it means “to wish someone well.” To be benevolent is to be kind, well meaning, and charitable."

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"I want to be kind to ev’ryone,
For that is right, you see.
So I say to myself, “Remember this:
Kindness begins with me.”

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“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. …

“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

“And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

“And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”

Unlike the Jewish priest and Levite who passed by the wounded man, one of their own, the Samaritan was kind regardless of differences. He demonstrated the Christlike attribute of benevolence. Jesus taught us through this story that everyone is our neighbor."

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“Unity is a spiritual quality. It’s the sweet feelings of peace and purpose that come from belonging to a family. … It’s wanting the best for others as much as you want it for yourself. … It’s knowing that no one is out to harm you. [It means you will never be lonely.]”

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" Thomas S. Monson taught us how to interact with our peers and everyone we meet when he told the young women of the Church, “My precious young sisters, I plead with you to have the courage to refrain from judging and criticizing those around you, as well as the courage to make certain everyone is included and feels loved and valued.”

We can follow the example of the good Samaritan and “change the world” of just one person by being benevolent. I would like to invite each of you to do at least one Samaritan-like act this coming week. It may require that you reach beyond your usual friends or overcome your shyness. You may courageously choose to serve someone who doesn’t treat you well. I promise that if you will extend yourself beyond what is easy to do, you will feel so good inside that kindness will start to become a part of your everyday life. You’ll see that benevolence can bring joy and unity to your home, your class, your ward, and your school. “Remember this: kindness begins with me.”"

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