Lawrence Lovasik on How Kindness Makes Life Endurable
“If you cannot do a kind deed, speak a kind word. If you cannot speak a kind word, think a kind thought. Count up, if you can, the treasure of happiness that you would dispense in a week, in a year, in a lifetime!” wrote a priest, writer and prophet of kindness – Lawrence G. Lovasik (1913 – 1983). In a book The Hidden Power of Kindness: A Practical Handbook for Souls Who Dare to Transform the World, One Deed at a Time (published in 1999, after his death) Lovasik speaks about the benefits of kindness and how it influences positive change in one’s life and makes the world a better place.
Kindness is not kindness unless it is special. Its charm consists in its fitness, its timeliness, and its individual application.
Kindness adds sweetness to everything. It makes life’s capabilities blossom and fills them with fragrance. Kindness is like divine grace. It bestows on men something that neither self nor nature can give them. What it gives them is something of which they are in need, or something which only another person can give, such as consolation. […] Kindness sprigs from the soul of man; it is nobility of man – a divine rather than a human being.
Lovasik believes that complaisance and attention to other person’s needs is one of the most important aspects of kindness.
When you comply with the spoken request of your neighbor, you may do so either because you do not wish to appear unkind, or because you feel unable to resist the persuasion of another, or because in this way you hope to rid yourself sooner of a troublesome person. But when you are truly obliging, love prompts gracious thoughts, tells you of your neighbor’s wish, and urges you to comply with it. Here love alone pleads and complies with the wish. Hence, obligingness is an act of charity even more beautiful than a simple readiness to serve another.
If you are a person of gentle feelings, you will attract others by a certain delicacy and attention to their small needs, by discovering their least desires and constantly forgoing your own, and by rendering little services even before they are requested. […] Keep your eyes open to discover other people’s needs; take the trouble to remove an obstacle in the path of another; let your hands be busy providing pleasant surprises for your neighbor; be eager to undertake things for other or run errands for then without waiting to asked.
Prophet of the goodness observes – life is simpler when kindness takes part in it. “Kindness makes life more endurable,” he writes, “the burden of the life presses heavily on most people. Many find life almost unbearable.”
We make ourselves more unhappy than other people make us. A great portion of this self-inflicted unhappiness arises from our sense of justice being so continually wounded by the events of life. Kindness steps forward to remedy this evil also, because kindness is the amiability of justice. Each kind action that you do works to restore the balance between right and wrong.
By kindness, you encourage others in their efforts after good. All of us need encouragement, and most of us must have praise. Kindness encompasses all the virtues of praise without its vices. When you are praised, you are praised at some expense, and at your own expense, for praise may encourage pride. But kindness puts you to no expense, and, at the same time, enriches those who are kind to you. Kindness is the most graceful attitude you can assume toward another, whereas praise implies some degree of condescension. Kindness is the only sort of praise that is always and everywhere true.
A kind deed, a kind word, or the mere tone of voice is enough to convey sympathy to the poor suffering heart, and in one instant all is right again. The downcast soul is encouraged to do bravely the very thing which, in a mood of discouragement, it had almost resolved to leave undone. That encouragement may be the first link of a new chain, which, when finished, will result in final perseverance.
Lovasik express his belief that empathy and goodness can overcome the greatest wrongness. Priest also connects politeness, just attention and compliance, with kindness.
The least kind action is greater than the greatest wrong. The smallest kindness can lift a heavy weight. It reaches far and travels swiftly. And a kind action lasts long time. The doing of it is only beginning. Years if estrangement can hardly take the sweetness out of a kind deed.
Let your politeness be the politeness of the heart. There is no outward token of politeness without some deep moral foundation. Love will breathe into even purely formal politeness respect, goodwill, and that all-embracing kindness which does not wait to be greeted, but is first with its greeting.
Courtesy is the kindness of the heart, manifested in our dealing with our fellowmen.
If you make it a point in your dealings with your fellowmen always to treat them as you would like to have them treat you, there will be no occasion for any breach of courtesy or good manners. Even a simple thank you is important in the lives of human beings. […] Learn to think of others first. Small courtesies are the perfume of life. Kindness is the art of pleasing, the knack of contributing as much as possible to the easy and happiness of those with whom you converse.
Read this wonderful creation by Lovasik The Hidden Power of Kindness: A Practical Handbook for Souls Who Dare to Transform the World, One Deed at a Time. It will feed your soul.