Be Kinder Than You Need To Be

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to travel out to West Chester to attend the PAWLP institute. This year, for the first time, I’m going to teach at one of the Youth Writer’s Camps. The morning began with a meeting of those teaching in the camps. Our team of teachers began to discuss themes for the summer program. One of the teachers suggested that we use the theme of kindness. She went on to say that at her school they tell the students, “Be kinder than you have to be.” Wow! This made an impression on me as I had never heard it before. What an interesting challenge for anyone.

In most Christian religions, today marks the beginning of Holy Week. This solemn, sacred week challenges Christians to grow closer to God through prayer, fasting, sacrifice. I’ve decided to take “Be kinder than you need to be” as my mantra for the week. How can I stretch myself in this area? As the week  progresses, I hope to increase my awareness of the needs of others and, if possible, lighten their load in some way. In my experience, most people are kind and I consider myself one of those kind people. However, I’ve never thought in terms of “being kinder than I need to be”. It’s a challenge and it’s a great week to initiate this thinking into my life. I’ll let you know how I do.


13 thoughts on “Be Kinder Than You Need To Be

  1. I love this idea! Be kinder than you need to be—this is wise advice. Think I’ll be intentional about it this week, as well. I’ll be checking back to see how it goes for you!


  2. I’m Greek Orthodox, and this week was our first week of Lent. Your post is a good reminder to me about how I should act for the next 6 weeks. Our Easter is very late this year, May 1st! I’m just starting the process as you are coming to the finale. Have blessed Easter. Kali Anastasi!


  3. I love this. We talk about the importance of being kind at school with our kiddos, but being kinder than you need to be brings it to a whole new level. I’m going to put this on a note and post it on my bathroom mirror, and my computers at home and school as a daily reminder. Be kinder than you need to be. That is powerful!


  4. This is a powerfully incredible statement. So often we think of being “good ENOUGH,” “kind ENOUGH,” we don’t think in terms of “more than you need to be.” I am a Christian, and this is so powerful to me as I think about Easter and how Christ was “kinder than He needed to be,” when He died for me. THANK YOU for this post!!!


  5. I’m back! Sorry–I really should get my thoughts in order before I press POST! Anyway, I liked the phrase so much that I was googling it to look for images. Apparently this phrase was adapted from something JM Barrie (of Peter Pan fame) wrote. In his book, The Little White Bird, he wrote the following: “Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?”


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