Let’s be real—there are a lot of rude, unkind, and just plain annoying people out there. There is so much focus on the demise of values and brotherly love, division, and the mean people who get all the press, that before you know it, the hope is squeezed right out of you like a wet sponge under a steamroller.
Ever feel rolled over? I admit that I can too easily let those people get to me. I can walk around annoyed with everyone because one person ruined my vibe.
Eventually, I got tired of giving the joy snatchers so much power over my day, so…no more! I have discovered a useful remedy to this glut of difficult people and the epidemic of hopelessness they inspire. A surefire way to stay out of the path of that steamroller of nastiness. It’s a simple exercise that is fun (because I need fun like a bee needs pollen) and can help keep us full of hope.
A kindness scavenger hunt! I make the deliberate effort to search for and celebrate kindness. It’s a daily choice, and it isn’t silly or frivolous—it is vital.
When I go on this hunt it changes my perspective. My focus turns to the good things in my path; the kind people and the beauty they bring to our world. And I’m happy to report that I find it everywhere. Kindness is alive and well!
Did you hear me? KINDNESS IS ALIVE AND WELL!
My husband, Tim, and I were recently traveling in Europe. Because of COVID it had been a very long time since we were overseas, and I was giddy with excitement. This was a work trip for Tim, but I was tagging along to have fun (Sorry Babe.) So, I spent quite a lot of time adventuring on my own, figuring out train, bus, and tram timetables, and with a language barrier to boot.
Frustration threatened to roll over my joy, so I kicked into high gear scavenger hunt mode and I was not disappointed. I met a lovely German couple (see photo) who assisted me when a tram route was closed, and my carefully researched plan went right out the window. They escorted me all the way to my destination and their kindness made my lovely day even more beautiful.
There was the helpful train attendant who went far above and beyond, actually leaving her post and going to the kiosk with us when we couldn’t make out the German instructions. And the sweet young French woman who traded seats so Tim and I could sit together on a train (see photo).
I discovered so much kindness. My list goes on and on—people everywhere who would pause to answer a question from a slightly lost tourist, the hikers who pointed me in the right direction when the trail split into multiple options, even friendly smiles on the street can make a big difference when you purposefully take notice.
This is where it is important to note there were plenty of not-so-kind people as well. But here is the magic—when I focus on and celebrate the kindness of people, the mean ones become less significant. They get smaller and smaller and their power dissipates. They fade into the background just as they should, and the blessings overshadow the bad.
God tells us in Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” This is the basis of our scavenger hunt. Let this be your challenge today and every day. The way you think about the world changes who you are and therefore changes the world around you.
I’m not saying to be oblivious to the facts or the needs around us. If you know anything about me, you know that I firmly stand for the opposite. We must open our eyes to the hurts of people and do what we can to alleviate their pain. But the beautiful thing about doing that, about hurting with those who hurt, is that in the process we become the kindness they are looking for; a point in their scavenger hunt, and the world continues to change for good.
So, will you join me? Let’s collect and celebrate kindness. I have found that when we thank God for the kindness we find, He multiplies it, and we discover even more. I would love to hear about the kindness you discover and the joy this change in perspective brings to your life.
Let the scavenger hunt begin!
– love, Ginger