A wise person once said that it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice. Being nice and listening to those around us might avoid some embarrassment, and might even make us some money.
For example, when Tommy Bolt was on the golf tour, he established a well-deserved reputation for his temper. Once in a tournament, he drew a caddie who had a reputation for being a talker, so Bolt told him to keep quiet and restrict his conversation to “Yes, Mr. Bolt” and “No Mr. Bolt.”
As luck would have it, one of Bolt’s shots stopped close to a tree.
To reach the green, he had to hit the ball under a branch and over a lake. He carefully analyzed the situation and made his decision. However, as it frequently happens, halfway talking to his caddie and halfway talking to himself, he asked, “Should I hit it with my five iron?” The caddie, having been duly warned, responded, “No, Mr. Bolt.” Bolt’s temper and pride prompted him to say, “What do you mean, not a five iron? Just watch this shot!” The caddie, still following instructions, said, “No, Mr. Bolt!”
Bolt wasn’t listening. He took dead aim and hit the shot beautifully to the green. It’s stopped a couple of feet from the hole. With a look of self-satisfaction, Bolt handed the caddie his five iron and commented, “What do you think about that? And it’s okay for you to talk now.” “Mr. Bolt, that wasn’t your ball,” the caddie responded.
Hitting the wrong ball cost Tommy Bolt a two-shot penalty and lots of money.
The takeaway here is be nice to people, especially those who serve you. And…listen to what they say.
I love that story. I found it years ago in a Zig Ziglar book entitled Something to Smile About.
Here are some other thoughts on just being nice. “The only ones you should try to get even with are the ones who have helped you.” Benjamin Franklin said, “When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.” “Be kind to people until you make your first million. After that people will be nice to you.” “Never return a kindness. Pass it on.” Here’s a child’s prayer on being nice. “Dear God, make all the bad people good, and make all the good people nice.” Not bad!
The Bible says in the last days men’s love will grow cold.
The Bible also says that love is patient, love is kind. So, if love is going to grow cold, that necessarily means that kindness will grow cold too. How do we fight that propensity? By overcoming a lack of kindness with kindness. You know how that works; fight the ‘Tommy Bolt’ propensity in you with the ‘caddie’ propensity in you. Don’t go to the dark side. Go to the light side of things. Remember, an offence is an event. Becoming offended is a choice. Discern the difference.
C. Neil Strait says, “Kindness is more than deeds. It is an attitude, an expression, a look, a touch. It is anything that lifts another person.”
You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.
The Psalmists said this about God, “Thy loving kindness is better than life.” God just doesn’t show kindness. God shows us loving-kindness and thoughtfulness. How do you describe loving kindness? Well, here is a story on how a child explained loving-kindness.
The teacher asked the pupils to tell the meaning of loving-kindness. A little boy jumped up and said, “Well, if I was hungry and someone gave me a piece of bread, that would be kindness. But if they put a little jam on it, that would be loving-kindness.”
Kindness is good medicine, but having medicine and applying it are two different things. My advice, apply it generously.