You're probably right. That other guy--whoever it is for you, because we all have someone--might be rude. Or self-centered. Or singling you out. Or totally wrong. Or disrespectful. Or different than you. Or a lot of work. Or bossy. Or annoying. Or just not your cup of tea. Or ugly. Or mean, cocky, and dishonest. Or making fun of you, talking behind your back, attacking your character. Or using you. Or telling you you're not good enough. Or throwing a tantrum. Or embarrassing you. Or being illogical, unreasonable, and crazy. Or, you know, maybe even all of the above.
But gosh darn it, you know what? We've got to "be kind anyway." Look, friends, if there's something I'm totally sure of, it's this: there are an absolutely unlimited number of ways that we can offend and hurt each other as human beings inhabiting the same planet, community, or even home. But there is only one way to make it work "anyway"--we have to choose to be kind. At all times, and to everyone we encounter, every time we encounter them, or even (especially?) when they're not in our presence. WE have to be kind in our thoughts, in our words, and even in our actions. "Be the living expression of God's kindness--kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile." (Mama T said that too, of course.)
That doesn't mean we are dishonest or that we're spineless or that we let things go that truly need to be addressed. Mother Teresa certainly was no pushover. But she won the world over through the kindness she showed to everyone she encountered. She probably didn't always feel like it. In fact, we know that for much of her life she struggled big time spiritually, rarely feeling God's presence near her in prayer or at any other time. But she was convinced that she needed to see everyone as who they truly are--a son or daughter of God, worthy of the most respect she could give and full of dignity that only He can bestow--whether the people she was with were billionaires, politicians, or homeless people dying in the street. She saw Jesus in them, and because she loved Him, she loved them.
Sounds so simple. But you and I know that for those of us still striving, it can sometimes seem impossible and maybe even hopeless to see Jesus in everyone. But we can start by being kind, even when we don't want to be.
St. Teresa of Calcutta, in her eternally famous "Anyway" poem, reminds us that we can always do the right thing regardless of our circumstances because our choices and behavior and character are really between us and God, and no one else. So, yes, it's hard to make the choice to love the people you struggle to see good in. But those people are God's creations. And so through our love for Him, we can be given the grace to love them too. It's not easy, but eternity is worth it.
The Mother Teresa is probably our zestiest scent profile in the Classic Collection--and that's not unintentional, guys. It's a spicy mix of ginger, saffron, and lemongrass over a sandalwood base that will definitely lift the mood of any room.