The Act of Kindness
…a message to parents
By Apolinario Villalobos
The act of kindness should not be a means to an end, but the reason, in itself. In other words, we should not be kind to others, just because we want to go to heaven, but because we want to do it to for the sake of others. Acting kindly should be spontaneous. The act should form part of our habit. By acting this way, we will forget to count our indulgences which others are prone in doing. The act of kindness should end when the action is done, so that any return for such act is not considered.
In this regard, parents should stop telling their kids to be kind to others so that Jesus will love them. Children should be told to be kind, because by being so they are helping others. Of course, there is always Jesus or God or heaven as reasons every time we do kind acts. But, foremost, as our reason to be kind should be the expectation of us, as human beings, intelligent creatures, who should be kind to others. The clever guys may ask, what happens then to the Ten Commandments?
For the question above, I also ask, how about the aborigines who do not know God?… those in the hinterlands and jungles who have not seen a missionary, much more a Bible or a cross? Don’t they have the right to go to heaven even if they have done acts of kindness, just because nobody told them about such an eternal paradise? The unconscious dispensing of kind acts by these people who, in the eyes of others are uncivilized, deserve more heavenly recognition that what some evil-minded, though, college or university-educated and church-going humans are doing!
Parents should tell their children that they should be kind to others because the latter deserve respect due them as human beings. And, blessings should be shared with them because they need the help to be able to survive. We should do only those, and just leave to God the judgment if our acts are worthy of a place in heaven. Again, we should not count our acts of kindness.
Every Christmas, some parents are even going farther, by warning their kids not to be bad because Santa Claus will not give them gifts. Christianity or any religion that observes Christmas never teaches that! Santa Claus is not even mentioned in the Bible or whatever book of any religion. Santa Claus just like the Christmas tree, is just a symbol of the pagan way of celebrating Christmas, to have a semblance of festivity. Christmas is all about the humble birth of Jesus Christ. And, what has been originally celebrated was the baptism of Jesus Christ. It was only one of the early popes who thought of giving importance to the birthday of Jesus Christ, with the exact date not yet even officially established, and to give it a facade of joyful celebration for the sake of the converted pagans, used their early practices that are still being observed today.
A mother confided to me that when she told her child that Santa Claus is a missionary, the child in all innocence, asked her mother why he does not wear a cross, or carry a Bible! The mother was caught flat-footed, and she told me that she felt so ashamed of what she told her child, vowing never to tell her lies again.
The erroneous way of developing kindness in the personality of a child has done its toll. The wrong notion about kindness has become an integral part of the obnoxious attitude of some children which they will pass on to their own children when they become parents, themselves. The world is so full of children with this kind of attitude, with the parents themselves, to be blamed for their “spoiled” upbringing. This is a general observation. If some parents are doing the right thing, they need not react defensively. Unfortunately, I may be pessimistic, by sharing that I see no end to this vicious cycle. Only voluntary contrition of parents may help. But how many parents are willing?