Last spring, in my blog post titled "To Be . . .", I shared with you the four core values that we work on every day here at TVA. They are:
Today, I would like to share with you some thoughts on what it means to be kind. Our commercial society puts a lot of emphasis on fulfilling our wants. Millions of dollars are spent on advertising to convince us that we want or even need items that are for sale and popular in our culture. Unfortunately, this leads us to focus on self and the result is a tendency towards selfishness which is already the natural bent of humanity.
In Romans 12:9-10, Paul the apostle says, "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;" One of the basic acts of kindness is "giving preference to one another." Whether we are getting in line for recess, or at the drinking fountain, or at any other time when we have to take turns, preferring one another is the kind thing to do. Letting someone go first, allowing them to choose before us, or helping someone who needs an extra hand are all acts of kindness. I like the idea of doing random acts of kindness for people who are not expecting it or may not even know us, but how much better would it be if we all consistently practiced kindness not just randomly but as a consistent part of our everyday approach to others? The value of "Be Kind" means that we are always looking for and finding ways to serve those around us. It might be as easy as smiling and saying "Hi!" to people you meet. It might be picking up things others have dropped or cleaning up a mess that no one knows who made it. Being kind is showing love through serving others.
TVA has long emphasized the development of the "Fruits of The Spirit" as character traits we want to see in our students. Kindness is the fifth fruit in the list of fruits of the Spirit outlined in Galatians 5:22. We ask each one in our school community to personally commit to making kindness a daily value that we incorporate in our words and actions. Be kind!