Monday, October 08, 2018

Stingy Kindness

Are our acts of kindness "stringy?"

Yesterday, a person thanked me for doing something.  She called it kind, and she said that she hoped she would be able to pay it back someday. Truthfully, when I was doing it, I didn't think of it as an act of kindness - I just saw it as something that needed to be done, but if it was kindness, I didn't do it for "payback." I didn't, and don't, intend for there to be a reciprical action.

When I said so to this person, she said, "Yes, I know, pay it forward, right?"

No.  It's kindness.  It's an act of grace.  There are no expectations. No demands.  No strings.  I told her that, and she had trouble, I think, accepting it.

Do we have trouble accepting grace? Are we kind with the expectation of reciprocity? Stringy kindness is not grace.  It's not free.  And it might not actually be very kind.

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