Kindness is more than being nice. “Being nice” is temporary. It’s not indicative of true character.

True character is what you forge throughout all the moments of your days. It’s what you do when you don’t want to do it. It’s what you do when only God is watching.

Kindness is a mark of that true character you can’t fake. It’s interacting with those around you from a non-selfish perspective, and endeavoring to understand what actions and words you can render that is for their greatest good. Kindness is caring. It’s listening. It’s is putting aside what you want for what they need.

It seems kindness must exist before charity, love, forgiveness and other virtues. Perhaps it’s the first virtue. How else could that love for neighbor which Christ called us to have exist without cultivating a tender nature all souls wish to feel in a world of storms and anger?

Being around genuinely kind people’s like nothing else. It’s a refuge from the normal patterns of the world which impel others towards selfishnes and egoism which, unfortunately, can impel us to act similarly. It humbles me and makes me wonder how kind I really am.

And sometimes I don’t like the answer.

Nonetheless, it’s wonderful to be around. It’s wonderful to have examples of it shine in your life. And I pray that I too can sometimes make others think similar things.