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Legislating common sense: Reacting with kindness in a hostile world

A female barista in a face mask hands a paper sack and a cup of coffee to a customer
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The CDC issued guidelines last week for employers and employees of customer-based retail and service businesses in an effort to prevent harm against them while trying to enforce COVID-19 safety measures. 

The bottom line? 

Don’t try to argue with anti-maskers and risk being hurt. 

That’s good advice. 

Common sense often goes out the window in stressful times. 

Common sense and kindness

For one resident in Salt Lake City, common sense and kindness prevailed over what could have been a stressful situation. 

The man kept getting alerts on his security camera that there was motion in front of his house each morning. When he checked the camera, he saw a small child riding his bike up and down his wide driveway while on a walk with a parent. 

He decided to do something about it. 

The homeowner created a fun racetrack with chalk on his driveway, and the child loved it! 

Soon, others in the neighborhood were using it as well.

A video was shared on social media and went viral. “It really touched people in a positive and uplifting way,” said the person who shared the video. 

It also caught the attention of some professional race car drivers, who shared gifts with the child and homeowner.

Kindness over confrontation 

Perhaps unknowingly, the homeowner modeled God’s teachings: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12–13). 

The people who impact us the most are those who show kindness and grace, not those who confront us. 

The life of a small child was touched by the kindness of an unknown neighbor. If the neighbor was more concerned about having his peace and quiet, it is more likely he would have reacted in resentment and made a negative impact on a small child and on the neighborhood. 

If more of us focused less on our feelings, emotions, and opinions, we would likely experience less tension, stress, and turmoil. 

We get a glimpse of God’s kindness produced in our lives when we “walk in step” with his Spirit: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7). 

When kindness is challenging to display, depend on the Spirit’s power (Galatians 5:22). Kindness is the “fruit” or result of the Spirit’s transforming work in our daily lives. 

If we sought to live lives in tune with God’s Spirit, we would need fewer guidelines from the CDC to help us—and others—stay safe!

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