Music and the Spoken Word

A Little More Kind - Sunday, August 10, 2014

One thing this world needs more of is kindness. Our daily interactions provide limitless opportunities for more patience, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, and compassion: in other words, more kindness.

A short poem by an unknown author conveys this sentiment well:

I have wept in the night
For the shortness of sight
That to somebody’s need made me blind;
But I never have yet
Felt a tinge of regret
For being a little too kind.1

Perhaps the pressing demands on our time are what make us blind to the needs around us. When we’re preoccupied with ourselves, it’s easy to forget that everyone has the same basic needs—we all need and appreciate basic human kindness. And though we’ve all felt a “tinge of regret” for being a little less than kind, we can resolve to open our eyes, and more importantly our hearts, to be a little more kind in our interactions.

Everyone who tries to do this—in homes, in workplaces, in communities—discovers the same thing: When we simply practice genuine kindness, other desirable qualities—respect, honesty, trust, fairness, and affection—all blossom and grow. In the absence of kindness, nothing very positive can take root or flourish.

We might have different views on any aspect of life, we might disagree on a range of issues, or we might have diverse personalities and interests—but we all have the need for kindness. The well-known American writer and speaker Dale Carnegie shared his belief that we all have within ourselves the “power to increase the sum total of [the] world’s happiness … by giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. … Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.”2

We never forget kindness in word or deed. And we will never regret being a little too kind.

-Lloyd D. Newell

1. In Richard L. Evans, “The Quality of Kindness,” Improvement Era, May 1960, 340.
2. In Thomas S. Monson, “Love—the Essence of the Gospel,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 93–94.