Milk of Human Kindness

by Charles E. Bryce

All happy people are caring people—without exception. They will go out of their way to help others, no strings attached. They are willing to change their schedules, make different plans and be inconvenienced in order to encourage others, or help them go where they need to go and do what they must do. These special, happy people will just go ahead and set aside some of their time to cheer up those who are downtrodden. There are so many people in pain or feeling all alone in a seemingly hopeless situation, and then along comes a giver, an individual who thinks outwardly, someone who simply cares—truly cares—about other people.

Without such outstanding servants, this country would never have been settled by the pilgrims on the East Coast, or the pioneers moving through the rugged and daunting wilderness of the West all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Neighbors helped neighbors. They cared for one another through sickness, storms, drought, poverty and dangerous, overwhelming odds. They were there for each other, and that’s one of the main reasons they succeeded.

Is kindness becoming a trait of the past?

Warm, gracious and cheerful caring people are rapidly dwindling in number. The milk of human kindness is being replaced by the gall of human meanness and selfishness. Therefore a growing segment of our society is being left behind, alone and desolate—especially the elderly, and tragically, members of the same family.

Recently, my wife and I were in a hospital waiting room talking to an older woman about the gravely ill woman there with her. The lady we were talking with said her sick and weak companion was her friend of forty years, who had no one else to help her. So every day, her faithful friend drives her a great distance into the clinic for treatment. This caregiver asked her own daughter if she could possibly help them out by occasionally driving them. “(Expletive deleted), no! You can forget that!” was her daughter’s response. This was a crushing blow to both of these women, as you can imagine.

Sadly, this is by no means a rare occurrence nowadays. Ask any nurse who works in a critical care facility and she’ll tell you that more and more people have no one who will come to see them, who will care for them with love and kindness or even show up when asked to in the event of their death. Why? What has brought about this shameful change in our country from caring and concern for others to neglect and rejection right at the time when love, concern and appreciation are needed the most?

The widespread breakdown of the traditional family unit is at the heart and core of this “who gives a flip?” attitude. Very few parents are teaching and requiring their children to care for others, especially the elderly and helpless. They are no longer setting the example for their children, of sacrifice and extending help to others in need. Therefore children grow up being self–absorbed and selfish. They are utterly lacking in sympathy and empathy for others who are in dire need, suffering and in pain, and left all alone to somehow try to cope with their plight as their years run out.

Instead of enjoying their golden last years surrounded by giving and loving family members who are there for them come what may, too many are left by themselves feeling hurt, rejected and forsaken. The pain and sadness this treatment causes must be almost, if not actually, unbearable—to be abandoned by those you have loved and cared for, and who you thought loved and cared for you. But now you find out, not so! They are nowhere to be found.

Just as all happy people are caring people—without exception, so all unhappy people are fundamentally selfish—without exception. They virtually never think of giving, serving and caring for others.

Guaranteed happiness

Let me pass along a not–so–secret principle for guaranteed happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction in life. Decide now, and once and for all to become a giver—with no catch or ulterior motives involved. Most of the time, no one else will ever know about your sharing, sacrifice and giving, except the one who receives it from you. Don’t do it to draw attention to yourself. Care because it is the right and decent thing to do. If you start living this way of life and keep at it, you will begin to realize what God intended life to be like right from the beginning. Peace, happiness, and excitement will be daily experiences for you, and think of what it will mean to those you are caring for!

In Acts 20:35 we read: “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” This is a law that the Creator set in motion from the beginning. It is just as sure and certain as the law of gravity. I challenge you to just do it. Try it out and you’ll be so pleasantly surprised that you won’t want to stop. This will become a large part of who you are—a giving, caring and happy person. And, even though that isn’t why you are doing it, it will always come back: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).

I know of nothing that will do more for anyone to turn their life around from misery, frustration or unhappiness than this admonition to give, serve and care for others. Those who are happy have found this out. They know it works.

Of course we must do this in balance, taking care not to be taken advantage of. Don’t waste time and resources on “takers”, who are selfish, do nothing to help themselves, and aren’t even grateful for the help given to them. That becomes a futile situation which will only get worse, not better. We are talking about using wisdom and good judgement and giving real time and help where it will be appreciated, put to good use and result in a great outcome of relief and joy for the person so graciously cared for.

Little things mean a lot

These acts of caring and concern do not have to be a burden that grows and grows until it starts to pull you down and overwhelm you.

Phone calls, cards, letters, flowers and a pleasant visit or a kind warm hello, mean way more to the person in need than you might imagine. A ride to the post office, store or medical clinic is a blessing beyond measure to the person who has no other means to go except for your kind willingness to be there for them when they need you. Help from strangers is nice, but it is especially nice when family and friends are there for you because they are the ones you are counting on.

Recently our daughter was sitting in a waiting room when a young man received a phone call from his friends wanting him to come with them and have some fun and games—to go places and do “stuff’. However, this young man said, “No, I’m here with my grandparents. I brought them here and I am going to stay here and take care of my Pap–paw and Mam–maw.”

Can you imagine how his grandparents felt when he not only looked after them, but did so with cheerfulness and eagerness? He is already learning a very important principle that will develop substance and character in his life. This caring attitude will set him apart and bring untold benefits to him if he sticks with it, until it becomes indelibly engrained right into his core being. Giving, serving, compassion and caring will be what he is all about. Thankfully, there are still others like him of all ages, and enough left to keep our beloved nation working and moving forward for now. But for how much longer?

You can be a part of a determined and vital few who are helping to bring “the milk of human kindness” back into every day living. Serve. Give. Love. Care!

If you will do these things, you are in for a taste of happy living that will never go away. Things will only get better for you and for those you so generously care for. Try it and you’ll like it—that’s a Biblical guarantee!

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