Your kindness makes a tremendous impact
The Bible says, “Be kind to one another” (Eph. 4:32), yet kindness is often the exception rather than the rule. Let kindness rule, and the kind words you say and the kind deeds you do may start a chain reaction. You never know how your acts of kindness can impact others.
Tim Sanders of Yahoo fame shared a moving story at Willowcreek’s Leadership Summit several years ago in Chicago. He was being interviewed on a radio station in Seattle and stated that managers need to see their people face to face. “You don’t communicate by email from ten feet,” he said. These people need your affirmation, he said, because they are beat up.
Shortly afterwards, Sanders received an email from a manager named Steve who worked for a “large global software company in greater Seattle,” who shared he was guilty of using email instead of face to face interaction. He wrote Sanders that he supervised nine software engineers who work in the same building, but that he had not even seen but one of them in the past six months.
Steve decided to do what Tim suggested. He went to visit each of his engineers and told them two reasons why he thought they were wonderful. Two days later, one of his engineers brought him a poorly wrapped, but well intended gift, a present “any man would want in the middle of August,” an X-box and a copy of John Madden’s football game.
The manager knew he hadn’t given his employee a raise in two years, so he asked, “Where did you get the money?”
The engineer replied with words that would chilled Steve’s spine: “I sold my 9mm, coach.”
That got Steve’s attention. “You what?”
The engineer explained, “You’ve never asked me about my personal life the entire time I’ve worked here, so why don’t I tell you about myself. I moved here from Denver because my mom died. She was my only friend when I was going to college and when she died, I was all alone. I thought I would move to Seattle and start over again in a big company. I’ve never made a friend in this company. If I died, payroll would tell you, OK?
“I got depressed. I went online and searched ‘dead mom solution,’ and guess what I found? I found about 100 suicide chat rooms in multiple languages and they began to tutor me on what they called the ‘final solution.’
“I took a paycheck and bought a beautiful chrome plated pistol and a box of bullets. I began to practice every day. I’d go home and eat, then put on some music, get out the cigar box and take out my pistol and would get used to putting the bullets in the gun and putting the gun up to my mouth.
“I was this close, man. Then the other day, you freaked me out. You come into my cubicle and I don’t even know you. You put your arm around me. You told me I was funny over email. You told me that I turn in every project a day early and help you sleep well at night.
“Then you said the words that changed my life. You said, ‘I’m glad that you came into my life, Lenny.’ I went home that night, and when I got the cigar box out, and the light reflected off the chrome, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck and I was scared, and I said out loud the words that saved my life: ‘I’m glad you came into my life, Lenny.’
“So the next day, I went to the pawn shop and said, ‘What will you give me for this gun?’ They gave me $250 and I thought ‘what am I going to do with this money?’
“Then I realized that for months that you have been complaining loudly on email and messenger that your wife would not let you purchase this gaming system because you have that new baby at home to feed, so, Steve, for my life, this gift is for you.”
You may regret a lot of things in life, but you’ll never regret being kind. You never know how much your kindness means to others.
Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. The church family meets at 352 McDonough Road and invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.