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There has been a lot of talk on social media recently following the suicide of celebrity Caroline Flack about the need to be kind. It’s so easy to use our words and actions to criticise, condemn and judge people, and often our words can pierce like swords. We can be careless and callous in how we treat people, often assuming the worst about them and failing to recognise their humanity. We’re very good at putting people on pedestals, but even better at knocking them off those pedestals when we realise they have feet of clay.

We’re living in abnormal times, when human greed and selfishness are evident everywhere. But at the same time, these abnormal times give us further opportunities to embrace kindness.

Kindness is another fruit of the Spirit which we need to embrace. (Gal 5:22-23) We can’t afford to favour one fruit over the other in the way we might like grapes but dislike apricots. To embrace kindness means to think before we speak, to give people the benefit of the doubt, to be proactive in thinking of ways to show love to people. Those ‘acts of random kindness’ when we might give someone a phone call, a card or a present ‘just because’ can be hugely beneficial (to us, as well as to the receiver.) We can show love through acts of service (washing up someone else’s dishes, cleaning up to help someone who is tired, cooking a meal for a friend or offering to buy a takeaway after a hard day at work). All these kind acts help us to connect to other people and to build them up. We might have to be more creative in our acts of kindness right now, but a phone call, text, card or delivery to someone might be just the thing they need. Let’s embrace kindness and stay connected through it.