The very first episode of Highway To Heaven opens with Jonathan Smith, an angel on a mission from God, hitchhiking his way toward his destination – a retirement home where the residents could use a dose of dignity, a shot of appreciation, and a cup of kindness. A man in an old pickup truck offers to give Jonathan a lift – for a price.
“Nothin’s free in this world, pal,” the man tells him.
“Kindness is,” Jonathan replies.
 The man seems bewildered. “What?”
“Kindness is free,” Jonathan repeats.
It is a phrase that bears repeating often – Kindness is free!
Proverbs 3:3 – Don’t ever forget kindness and truth. Wear them like a necklace. Write them on your heart as if on a tablet.
Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such there is no law.
William Penn, the visionary Englishman who founded the colony of Pennsylvania, is credited with saying, “I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”
‘Be kind one to another’ is more than just a nice platitude or religious commandment; it is both a way of life and a constant reward that continually replenishes itself. According to essayist Eric Hoffer, kindness becomes its own motive. We are made kind by being kind. When we begin practicing kindness our spirit changes and soon being kind becomes a focal point for our life. “Doing good begins to be the same as feeling good,” says author, Gary Ryan Blair. “The periods of emptiness when we search for the meaning of it all” begin to fill with acts of kindness.”
Even as no man is an island unto himself, so no act of kindness lives or dies unto itself. One kind act leads to another. According to author, Lawrence G. Lovasik, “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.” Kindness is a commodity that is never wasted. Whether or not it affects the recipient, at least it benefits the bestower.
Yet kindness is more than deeds. It is an attitude, an expression, a look, a touch. It is the language, which the deaf can hear and the blind can see, according to Mark Twain. It is prudence, diligence, temperance, and discretion. “It is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom,” says Dr. Theodore Rubin. It is anything that lifts another person from the mundane to the sublime.
Is there a more creative force for good than kindness? Kind words, though short and easy to speak, echo throughout eternity. They are, according to King Solomon, like apples of gold in pictures of silver. “Constant kindness can accomplish much,” says the great humanitarian, Albert Schweitzer. “As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”
Nobody denies that life is hard. “Be kind,” admonishes the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, “for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Life is short, therefore be swift to love. Make haste to be kind. Consider no day perfected until you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
“Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ,” commands the Apostle Paul. Remember that every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. Kindness nurtured in the heart creates its own reward in your life.
“The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world,” says author and university professor, Leo Buscaglia. “There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents — Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around.  It’s overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt.”
Today as you encounter people, whether familiar or strangers, extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can manage. Nurture a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts. Do it without thought of external reward. Your life will be changed for the better. 
As the 19th century Catholic priest, Jean Baptiste Henri Lacordaire, once observed, “Neither genius, fame, nor love show the greatness of the soul. Only kindness can do that.”
Best of all, kindness costs nothing. As the angel, Jonathan Smith, so succinctly put it, “Kindness is free.”
Mike Parker (BookPage, CCM, HomeLife,, is a freelance writer and lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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