“I know this might be a super weird compliment, but I love the way your voice sounds.” the cashier said as she took my debit card. Her words were far from weird. Too often I’ve told myself to stay quiet. That I don’t have anything worth saying. Her words made their way to my soul. Confirming more than she knew. She went on, “You just have this calming tone. It’s nice.” I thanked her and told her that she wasn’t weird. As I waited for my food, I thought about how far kindness goes.
Don’t say anything that would hurt [another person]. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you. Ephesians 4:29 (God’s Word Translation)
We have all been on both sides. Hurtful words spewing out of our mouths before we even have a chance to catch them, and words slamming into our hearts from people that barely know us or even know us better than anyone else. Words can hurt. That is why the Bible tells us that life and death are found in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21) and to think before we speak (Ecclesiastes 5:2). Either side you walk away hurt. We carry those wounds with us and insecurities breed. So we walk around wounded and needing kindness yet hoarding kindness that we should freely give away.
The crazy thing is that we all have these insecurities, and we all see things differently about each other. Knowing that we ourselves feel insecure about something we should allow that knowledge to push us to see that those around us suffer from those negative thoughts too, and instead of pointing them out plant a positive seed in their mind through kindness. Through compliments. There’s this quote that has become popular lately that says, “Throw kindness around like confetti.” We should give kindness freely to those we know and those we make that awkward eye contact with when we are walking through Walmart 😉
Our insecurities don’t just keep us from sharing kindness with the people around us, but our insecurities also keep us from being who we were created to be. Think about this, the cashier I encountered noticed that my voice was calm. Knowing that she works in costumer service alone and she liked being around someone who was peaceful shows that she has been around people that are less than peaceful. I don’t know the cashier personally but, what if she goes home to a place of unrest after work. A place of anxiety. By choosing to simply be who God has called me to be has shone through this cashier and not only did she make a difference in my life but I made an impact in hers.
All week this idea of becoming kinder has bounced around my head. Today, this cashier went out on a limb, and it made a difference. She reminded me that I have a voice and that it’s a good voice. A voice in writing, in teaching, in this world. The truth is you have a voice too. You have a voice in your family, in your work place, in the lives that are in the circles that you are in. Don’t let the voices of insecurity stop you from speaking up. Don’t let the fear of kindness not being returned keep you spreading kindness around those around you. We can all be a little kinder. In our tones, in our words, and in our actions. Kindness goes a long way.