Did you know that we have a National Random Acts of Kindness Day? I didn’t! A friend of mine brought it to my attention and I thought I’d share it with you. The day originated in New Zealand, where they celebrate it on September 1st. In the UK it is celebrated on February 17. The idea is to deliberately look out for ways to show kindness to others throughout the day; it might be something as simple as a smile and a ‘hello’, or paying for a stranger’s cup of coffee, or you could decide to offer a skill or service to someone, free of charge.
The exciting thing about this day is, that the more you begin to look for opportunities for random acts of kindness, the more you find, and the more you want!
Mark Twain wrote; “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
Jesus said; “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Would you like to be treated with kindness? Then treat others with kindness.
I know that it is not unusual for people with a hearing loss to feel misunderstood, unkindly treated, and left out. From my own observations, as a hearing person who lives with a deafened daughter, I would say that, sometimes, this is due to fear. Fear on the part of the hearing person.
Fear? You might think that there is nothing scary about you! Let me tell you, many hearing people are terrified to try to talk to someone with a hearing loss, because they are worried that they might not be understood and that their intentions might be misinterpreted as lacking in care and compassion. Sometimes it just seems easier to walk away without trying to communicate, than to sit down with someone and try to work out HOW to communicate.
I wonder if I can set you a challenge? If you feel that there is someone at your church, fellowship group, luncheon club etc, who avoids coming anywhere near you, and you suspect that this is because they are afraid to ‘get it wrong’, think of a way to open up communications with that person. Perhaps you could write them a note, asking if they would be willing to spend a little time with you so that you can get to know each other better. Perhaps you could make a point of welcoming that person to the group with a friendly smile and greeting. Could you try to find out what interests them, and begin a conversation about that topic? The winsome kindness you show towards them will not only bless them, but you as well.
In my experience, most people are only too willing to be helped to communicate, especially if you, the deaf/deafened/hard of hearing person, meet them with patience, kindness and good humour. Over the years of my daughter’s deafness, we have had many laughs together when we have ‘got it wrong’! I well remember the time when she was most puzzled as to why we would be asked to take a chair to church, only to discover that we were having a ‘Bring and Share’ meal together!
Most people who do not have experience of hearing loss, have no idea how difficult and tiring lip-reading is; how frustrating it is to see others talking and laughing together and not to be able to join in for fear of interrupting or saying something about a topic that was under discussion a few minutes previously but has now moved on; or how lonely and isolating it can be. They are not being deliberately unkind, and maybe, just maybe, you can be the one to help someone learn what is the best way to communicate with you and other people with hearing loss. In so doing you will be sharing the nature of God who is always communicating with His people and who has created us, in Christ Jesus, to do the good things that He has prepared for us to do.
Colossians 3:12- says: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another, forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”