Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Proverbs 3:3 In Colossians 3:12, we also read that we should clothe ourselves with compassion’s close relative, kindness. The 19th century preacher, G. S. Bowes noted that the word “kindness” derived from “kinned” and thus reflects a disposition towards others as of the same kin or family. As an attitude, kindness recognizes the people around us as God’s precious creations, with whom we share the same desires, aspirations, strengths, needs, and imperfections. The heart makes all the difference in whether an act will build a relationship or not. In other words, if we perform a “kind act” grudgingly, trust and respect in the relationship will not grow. Social science research shows the impact of good intentions. They can make pleasant experiences even more pleasurable. More importantly, good intentions lessen the pain of bad experiences. When we think about building blocks for better relationships, kindness has enormous power as it increases pleasure and decreases pain. When we recognize that the other person – whether it’s our spouse, best friend, child’s teacher, or the barista at our favorite coffee shop – is our kin, we are more likely to give her intentions the benefit of the doubt. Kindness helps us to overlook the little misunderstandings or mishaps in life, instead of letting them blow up into a full-fledged disagreement. Perhaps more importantly, we can see that our kindness can have a huge impact on the happiness of others. When we make the effort to do and say things that say “You are special to me”, we build them up and make our relationship stronger. The mind-blowing part is that kindness even helps soothe painful experiences. As much as we want to avoid it, there are times when difficult choices have to be made and both parties in the relationship may not agree. Sharing your intentions, that you do not mean to cause pain, can make a huge difference in your relationship. -To build better relationships, cultivate a kind heart toward others. -Remind yourself that everyone you meet is in fact your kin. -If you are feeling frustrated with someone, consider that they may have benevolent intentions. -Actively seek ways to regularly express kindness through your words and your actions, whether those small or big.