قَوْلٌ مَّعْرُوفٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن صَدَقَةٍ يَتْبَعُهَا أَذًى ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَنِيٌّ حَلِيمٌ
“A kind word and forgiveness is better than a charitable deed followed by injury; and God is self-sufficient and forbearing.”
The December monthly theme was to incorporate kindness into our lives. It seems intuitive. Kindness is something we are taught by our parents and school teachers as children, and it is expected that we carry it out for life. But I’ve noticed how rare it is to find true kindness in people. I get excited when I encounter someone who is genuinely kind, and truthfully, that concept saddens me. From my observations, I have noted that there are two types of unkind people. The first are those who are absolutely unkind. They aim to make things difficult for others when the option of making things easy is very attainable. Then there are those who are unkind in a moment of despair or sadness. Their unkindness is not intentional, and is merely a result of their emotions at any particular moment.
It wasn’t until I received an email from a friend from school that I began to question my own kindness. This friend sent me a series of study guides that would aid in my studying for finals. Though these documents are readily available on my class Facebook page, she considered the fact that I am no longer on Facebook, and she was kind enough to go out of her way to send me the documents, personally. I was touched by her thoughtfulness. And as I received her email, I saw that her signature read “Be kind” and I thought it to be a simple and unique reminder that was much-needed, considering my recent observations of unkindness. I like to think of myself as a kind person and I aim to be positive always. But perhaps when I am sad or upset or angry, my kindness is masked and I become unkind, without even realizing it. In December, I made an effort to smile at others when I was sad, and to be as gracious and courteous as possible, even at times when I was on the verge of tears. I attempted to reach out to people who lack kindness in their lives so as to console them and to possibly be the source of kindness for them, with God’s will. It was surprisingly difficult to do all of this.
I am the type of person who keeps my emotions to myself. I do not easily express my feelings, so if I am upset or sad or nervous, I may come off as rigid so as to prevent myself from bawling in front of others. Transitioning my feelings into positive ones of kindness, allowed me to learn that life is not about how I feel, and more about how I make others feel. In the times when I felt like screaming at the top of my lungs, I closed my eyes and prayed for the strength to be as kind as possible. And once the initial moment of hardship was over, the smiles and kind words came out easily. And when people were unkind to me, I brushed it off, and responded with kindness. For the most part, my responses were returned with even more kindness.
We get what we give, and if we give good vibes, we will get them in return, inshAllah. I ask that those reading this forgive me if I have ever been unkind to them, even if it wasn’t obvious to me. And I pray that God accepts my efforts and allows us all to radiate kindness.
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