I take public transit to work every day. One morning I noticed a young woman on the train. I thought, she’s really lovely but that spiky haircut makes her look like a rooster. Not very generous of me, I know. When she got up for her stop, I saw she was carrying a beat-up tan backpack. On the back of it she had written in bold letters: “Humankind. Be both.”
Human and kind. Sometimes it’s hard to be both. By our very nature we have a tendency to judge and hold tight to our own ideas. Sometimes it takes real effort to open our hearts, to approach people with kindness and generosity—especially people who are different from us.
What snap judgments have you made lately? When you go out into the world, are you putting your most thoughtful foot forward? Take my spiky-haired friend’s wisdom to heart: Spend today focusing on being both human and kind. You may be surprised by the gifts it will bring.
This message was adapted from “Human Kind” by Kate Sprutta Elliott that appeared in the January/February 2006 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.