Recently I have been thinking a great deal of the phrase: “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Apparently the phrase is sometimes attributed to Plato, although that is disputed. No matter. Whomever said it, the phrase carries the gravitas of truth.
I’ve been noticing the looks of concern that follow smiles. I’ve seen the blank stares in meetings. I’ve observed the contemplative postures.
Some battles are known to me. Others I can only imagine.
But there’s one simple way anyone can deliver more kindness. It happens when we are aware of the way people treat us in the midst of our own battles.
Some have empathized and understood. I want to imitate them in my dealings with others.
Some have run rough-shod, completely unaware of the battles I fight. I don’t want to imitate that kind of treatment.
Self-awareness fosters empathy for others.
The One who is kindest of all fought His own, epic battle. He fought it for you. Even when others don’t understand or treat you in the way you ought to be treated, He understands. He treats you with forgiveness, kindness, and compassion.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Or, to put it another way, “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” But, in Christ, the victory has been won.
Who needs your kindness today?