Kindness! What a world of meaning is included in this heart-warming word, evoking remembrance of compassionate deeds and loving self-sacrifice by others for those near and dear to them and for the general welfare. Kindness softens the asperities, knitting together again through conciliation those long separated by strife and misunderstanding and comforting the ones subjected to harsh treatment. A kind word, even a smile, may give hope and inspiration to a weary traveler who may have accepted hardship as inevitable and grown bitter in consequence. Small acts of kindness speak volumes and encourage the downcast and sad, the despairing and hardened, to renew their faith in the presence of good and its ultimate victory over evil.
How can we acquire this standard of consistent loving-kindness? Mary Baker Eddy points the pathway to this desirable attainment when, in her "Miscellaneous Writings," she states (p. 117): "Obedience is the offspring of Love; and Love is the Principle of unity, the basis of all right thinking and acting; it fulfils the law. We see eye to eye and know as we are known, reciprocate kindness and work wisely, in proportion as we love." Bearing aloft the banner of Love, the "Principle of unity," we can regard all men in their true identity as spiritual beings, beloved of their Father, and inheriting His perfection and purity.
An instance of God-reflected love is found in the Biblical record of Joseph. After the passing of Jacob, his sons, despite the generosity shown them by their brother, questioned whether Joseph might reverse his former kindly attitude and repay them for the evil they had done to him. But Joseph continued to express the invariable quality of God's ever-present goodness, which precludes a reversal under any circumstances. Through all his vicissitudes Joseph had lived close to God and had un-failingly imaged forth divine Love toward all, even to those who had dealt treacherously with him. He displayed no resentment because he manifested his spiritual nature under every provocation.