GMC News

\”Kindness\” – Word of the Week

Definition of the word of the week (KINDNESS): Of a friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature.

I remember one winter when we were traveling to Grandpa’s house for Christmas. Our annual pilgrimage from Fort Bragg, NC to Augusta, GA would take about four hours today. But, back then it was more like 6-7 hours. Traveling with small children involves lots of stops and the boys were quick to pick up on the idea that a bathroom stop significantly increased their chances of getting a snack.

So, there we were, two adults, one rather large dog, two small children, suitcases and Christmas presents all crammed into a small Dodge Colt. It was so cramped that I had to lift up the 70-lb dog in order to apply the emergency brake. Then, somewhere between Columbia, SC and Augusta, the rear tire went flat. To make matters worse, after unloading the small trunk and stacking suitcases and presents beside the road, I discovered that the spare tire was flat too. That was not good.

I found myself in a dilemma. I did not want to leave the wife and kids stranded while I hiked with the spare tire to the next exit, some ten miles away but I did not want to sit along the roadway all day either. Despite the holiday season, no other vehicles were stopping and since I was not speeding, there were no police around. So, I looked up to the heavens and said, “Lord, I could use some help here.” Knowing that the Lord helps those who help themselves, we starting discussing options.

Then, an old man in a beat-up pickup truck stopped on the service road on the other side of the fence and asked what was going on. He then offered to take my spare to the service station, get it repaired, and then return it. It sounded like a good idea at the time so I agreed. But, after he had been gone for some time, I started to have second thoughts. Did I just give a tire and rim to a stranger and would I ever see him again? But, about an hour later he returned with the repaired tire and then refused to accept payment for his trouble.

After profusely thanking him for his kindness and chastising myself for having doubts, we were soon on our way to Grandpa’s house. An unexpected kindness can renew one’s faith in humanity. As the ancient Greek, Aesop, noted, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

The following quotations are intended to assist in explaining and exemplifying the word of the week:

It is veneer, rouge, aestheticism, art museums, new theatres, etc. that make America impotent. The good things are football, kindness, and jazz bands. George Santayana, Philosopher

The ideas that have lighted my way and, time after time, have given me new courage to face life cheerfully have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Albert Einstein, Physicist

Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate. Albert Schweitzer, Philosopher

He that has done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged. Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Bible, Galatians

Kindness is more than deeds. It is an attitude, an expression, a look, a touch. It is anything that lifts another person. C. Neil Strait

Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness. Confucius, Philosopher

To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness. Confucius

Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning. Frederick Faber, Clergyman

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? Jean Rousseau, Philosopher

Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together. Johann Von Goethe, Poet

Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolutions. Kahlil Gibran, Poet

Kindness is words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao-Tzu, Philosopher

Small kindnesses, small courtesies, small considerations, habitually practiced in our social intercourse, give a greater charm to the character than the display of great talents and accomplishments. Mary Ann Kelty

There is a hunger for ordinary bread, and there is hunger for love, for kindness, for thoughtfulness; and this is the great poverty that makes people suffer so much. Mother Teresa, Missionary

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. St. Basil

LTC Patrick Beer, the Dean of Students and Commandant of Cadets at Georgia Military College, prepares this study guide each week as part of the institution’s character education program. He welcomes comments and suggestions from readers. He can be contacted by phone, 478-445-2710 or by email,