Several months ago, my sister and I watched a movie in which a mother was on her death bed and was offering instruction to her daughter. "Have courage, and be kind," advised the mother. I thought such words were a fantastic final message for a mom to leave to her daughter; however, the more I thought about it, the more I realized what she should have said was, "Have courage, because being kind REQUIRES courage."
When I was a young girl, my dad taught me from the scriptures to "do good to them who hate you. and pray for them which despitefully use you." So, for your vindictively spiteful haters, do good to them and pray for them. To go a step further, Proverbs instructs us that "if thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee." These kind actions are not often easy. Kindness takes strength and courage, patience and fortitude. To act genuinely kind when individuals are spiteful requires time spent in prayer.
Let us all follow in the footsteps of Jesus, remembering the Proverb that says a soft answer turns away wrath, so that not only our actions, but also that our words are kind.
Kindness always comes out on top. So, have courage... and be kind :)
Image "Kindness" by Jaky Astik, Flickr.