Kindness on the Back Roads -- By Joseph J. Mazzella

Near my home there is a winding back road. It was built many years ago along the banks of a local river and it follows the river's path as it twists and turns down the mountain to a town 16 miles away. I often take this old road because it is the fastest way to make it to the closest interstate highway. The trip down it is beautiful with its trees, pastures, and the flowing river brightening your soul. Still, it also has long stretches of rough road that can be tough on an old car. More than once I have stopped to help a motorist whose car didn't quite make it all the way.

The latest time I did so was for a grandmother and her granddaughter. A visiting pastor had already pulled over to help and together we were able to push her old car to a wide spot off the road. She thanked us both and then thanked me again after I dropped her and her young granddaughter off at her daughter's house. That simple "thank you" brought a warmth of joy to my heart. It felt good being able to help another soul. It felt great being able to share a little kindness in this world. I drove away feeling like the richest man in the universe.

I was remembering this time again while the news was talking of the latest financial scandal. It made me think of what the great journalist Charles Kuralt once said: "The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines." I pray that one day we all will be able to put being kind, helping people, and loving each other over making money. When we do, this world will be a giant step closer to the paradise that God meant for it to be.

Jesus said, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." May we always love each other in our hearts, in our souls, and in our lives then. May we share our love and kindness with others everyday along whatever back roads our lives may take us. May we build a lasting wealth of loving-kindness for this life and for the next.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella