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The “Be Kind” Quote (and its elusive origin)

August 30, 2021

It’s easy to forget to be kind to others.

In much of the world, it’s becoming a lost priority, or worse—evidence of weakness!

Nevertheless, we know Jesus was kind. He certainly wants us to be kind.

So, how can we remember to always be kind, no matter the situation?

I believe empathy and compassion help us to be kind and there are few quotes that foster empathy, compassion and kindness better than this one by John Watson:

Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

This is actually a much-condensed version of the original statement by John Watson, also known as Ian MacLaren. [If you love this quote as much as I do, click here for the fascinating research by the good folks at quoteinvestigator.com, who discovered the true author and proponent of such compassion for others.]

Here’s the original statement by John Watson, beautifully expressed in 1903:

This man beside us also has a hard fight with an unfavouring world, with strong temptations, with doubts and fears, with wounds of the past which have skinned over, but which smart when they are touched. It is a fact, however surprising. And when this occurs to us we are moved to deal kindly with him, to bid him be of good cheer, to let him understand that we are also fighting a battle; we are bound not to irritate him, nor press hardly upon him nor help his lower self.

What the Word of God Says about Kindness

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. (Galatians 5:22)

What You Can Do Today

As you interact with each person today, make the small effort to intentionally feel compassion for the unseen battle that person is facing today, the battle they faced throughout their life, and how you can kindly, gently be the loving face of Jesus for them, today.

Click play below to bring this lovely aphorism a bit of glittering life.

 


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reading

Estimated reading time:
1 – 2 minutes

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