“Be ye kind one to another”

A few days ago, a church member gave me a belated birthday present with these words, “I think you might find a gem for a sermon in this book.”  The text of the book is a transcript of George Saunders’ convocation address in 2013 at Syracuse University, where he teaches creative writing.  The title is Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness.  I read it in twelve minutes.  You can also view it on You-Tube in about the same amount of time.  The first thing I thought about after reading it was the Bible verses that I learned in early childhood, one of them being, “Be ye kind one to another” (Ephesians 4:32–KJV, of course!).  So simple?  Ought to be.  It’s one of those things that is “simple” but not “easy.”  Saunders explains that we are born with “built-in confusions” about who we are.  Those “confusions” always lead us to having to work hard if we are ever to let go of a deep level of self-centeredness—which seems to be basic to the human condition and inevitably leads to misery.  The sooner we get to work on that self-centeredness, the more time we have to enjoy being kind—and the more joy and peace we will experience in our lives and share with the world.  We have countless times to practice every day—to ask ourselves the question over and over, “Am I being kind right now?”  We will never regret it.  

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About aliceatgrace

I'm the Rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Hopkinsville, KY. When I came here in August, 2011, I discovered that we have a great asset that was being under-utilized, to say the least. We have a beautiful Chartres labyrinth that was dedicated four years ago, and I decided that I would do all I could to promote the use of it. It's now just post-Easter of 2012, and, about a month ago, it occurred to me that our labyrinth is a symbol of what the future of this church is intended to be. We are people on an ongoing spiritual journey together. We like to ask questions, and we don't always have to have the answers. We are confident that God is leading us into deeper relationships--both with God and with the world around us. We invite you to "come walk with us."
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