Be Kind, Please Rewind

Kind thoughts are rarer than either kind words or deeds. They imply a great deal of thinking about others. This in itself is rare. But they also imply a great deal of thinking about others without the thoughts being criticisms. This is rarer still. ~ Frederick William Faber

How many times have you seen a video played in reverse on TV? Up from the lake shoots the bicycle and rider, back past the sign: Bridge Out, to the starting point where the cyclist hops on before racing down the road.

These videos are played in reverse, highlighting with humor, the moment things went terribly wrong. The overly confident cyclist races off too quickly, fails to note the sign and sails over the brink.

I love what Frederick Faber says. Kind thoughts are rarer than either kind words or deeds in part because to have them we have to do a great deal of thinking about others, which, as he says, is rare enough. The second is rarer still: we also have to do a great deal of thinking about others without the thoughts being criticisms.

If I go over the brink and am in some way unkind, it isn’t difficult to rewind the scenario and see that the root of the problem isn’t in failing to see the signs or even in racing off too confidently. The root is always whether or not my regular day in and day out thoughts toward others are generally kind or critical in nature.

I notice it when I’m reading a book or watching TV and I’m surprised at the intensity of my dislike for a character. When this carries over from fiction to the news: crime, politics, religion and find myself lacking kindness and grace, I know it’s time to get off the bike.

When I’m all wet, it’s a lot like the saying that used to be stuck on the VHS tapes we rented from a movie store: Be Kind, Please Rewind. It’s cause and effect: thinking of others more often with kinder thoughts, leads to kinder words in general, which lead to kinder deeds in practice.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

26 thoughts on “Be Kind, Please Rewind”

  1. Hi Debbie–so glad I’m not the only one who watches TV/movie and sometimes has intense dislike for a character. I have to remind myself, as my parents used to: “it’s only a TV show”. Of course we know that characters portray the essence of lots of people–people we may know, thus the strong reaction. God bless you–love, sis Caddo

    1. Hi Caddo!
      I understand that a well developed plot is supposed to engage our emotions. You cheer for the good guy and hope the bad guy gets caught. But in real life, the good and the bad guys aren’t so distinct. My focus, as of late, has been on “taking every thought captive” when my mind wants to wander the way of the ravens!

  2. Oh gracious one . . .I love this. It’s always a huge red flag for me when I realize my thoughts are increasingly critical. Your post makes me cry because though you didn’t know it, this is something He told me right off the bat, as a new believer . ..just 3 little words. . .”think of others”. Now you have brought more into it, as to why He told me that. God bless you with kindness that stays rewound and replaying all the time in your life! love and prayers – the other deb

    1. Deb –
      I have close friends all over the political spectrum. During this time of the year, when the environment is so politically charged, I find myself thinking thoughts that stop this side of kind if I’m not really on guard. It’s taken me a very long time to rewind the focus from my behavior to my thinking. Thank you for your ever kind words and faithful prayers, my sweet friend.

  3. Wonderful message here, Debbie, thank you so much for this. Kind thoughts sent out into the universe will do wonders – both for the recipient and for yourself. Love this post; have a wonderful day. ~ Julie xox

  4. I like your thoughtful process in presenting this information. When reading this scripture came to mind that I thinks fits in with your discussion. Romans 12:1, 2
    King James Version
    1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

    1. Hello Francine!
      Perfect verse for this post – if our bodies (and as I’m relating it here, our actions and words) are to be a “living sacrifice” then my mind needs to be in a perpetual state of renewal. Thank you!

    1. Linda –
      Staying mentally kind is so much more challenging than being externally kind, don’t you think? At least it is for me. I appreciate you.

  5. Really good Deb! We so often try to change ourselves by changing our actions rather than our attitudes. That’s kind of like trying to kill a dandelion by plucking off the head rather than digging out the root. Changing our heart involves intentionally bringing it to Jesus and letting Him replace what is rotten for what is good! Thanks for this wonderful word!

    1. Hello friend! Great example! It reminds me of telling those who are employed to answer the phone to smile so that their voice ‘sounds’ more pleasant. And I think that does often work to some extent and may even improve a person’s mood – but it isn’t transformative, is it?

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