Try A Little Kindness

When I was a kid, my family had a player piano. It was like magic – all you had to do was pump the pedals and beautiful music would play. It’s not something we did every day, mostly on holidays or special occasions, or when someone came over who’d never seen a player piano.  Yes, we were just that cool.

The piano ‘rolls’ were made by a company called QRS and there were all kinds of music, some of which were completely unfamiliar, but with the lyrics printed on the page, we learned to sing along with them as we pumped furiously. When the song ended, you flipped a switch that caused the roll to wind back up, which was far easier than pumping it to play the song.

Even though I learned to play piano on it (rather badly, I lacked the motivation to practice the recommended thirty minutes daily), it was a somewhat impractical instrument, taking up a lot of space and needing special care.  There are times, though, when I think it would be really fun if we still had it.

Lately I’ve been spending a fair amount of time thinking about how to be more helpful and loving toward people and praying that God would show me how to do it.  It’s easy for me to love people in the abstract, much harder to love them when they are right in front of me, saying and doing annoying things. So what does all this have to do with the player piano we had when I was a kid? 

While I was on a cleaning binge today, thinking about stuff, one of the songs we used to play a lot came to mind.  The song was Try A Little Kindness.  You can hear the original version by Glen Campbell here, or you can check out this newer version. Sometimes I overcomplicate things and think I need to start a ministry or a movement or do something really big when all I need to do is the next right thing. Loving people starts with simply paying attention and being kind.

Try A Little Kindness

Bobby Austin / Curt Sapaugh

If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he’s sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and say, you’re going the wrong way

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

Don’t walk around the down and out
Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day
Will help someone along their way

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

Try A Little Kindness lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

 

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