I was reading recently a definition of the word “kindness.” The primary attribute of kindness, according to the Catholic understanding of kindness as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is understanding sympathy and concern for those in trouble or need. Presumably in need, temporally, but also in need of “understanding and sympathy.” Which is most of us, most of the time. Kindness is manifested in these ways:
- Affability of speech
- Generosity of conduct
- Forgiveness of injuries sustained
If we practice those things mentioned above, without fail, all of the time, we are basically the ideal human being.
I, myself, have never mastered this. Perhaps some of you have? Please, comment below on your success in this area. I am needing some shoring up, here, people.
I would like to spend some time examining the ideas and elements of kindness. In my experience, it is easier to examine that which will help you grow as a person than to practice it. So I’m all in to start with examination.
Affability of speech, generosity of conduct and forgiveness of injuries sustained are practical, attainable ways of being kind. So perhaps it would be amazing if we understood what those things mean. Let’s start with AFFABILITY OF SPEECH.
Hardly anyone knows what affable means these days because why would we. But my best friend, Dictionary.com, reveals that “affable” is an adjective meaning, “pleasantly easy to approach and to talk to; friendly; cordial; warmly polite AND showing warmth and friendliness, benign, pleasant.“
Well, isn’t that just me me me with my kids all day long.
So. Just gotta bring up a little concern about dictionary.com. Entry regarding affable says that it’s origin is Latin (from “fa” and “bilis”. Ya.) But, origin Latin, dating between 1530 and 1540. If memory serves, all the Latin guys were dead then, and not originating too many words. Being dead. So…little confused.
Affability of speech means speaking in a way that is not mean or loud or impatient or unfriendly or sarcastic or rude or cold or haughty or snarky. And it’s good to practice not being those things. It helps us be kind.