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Be Bold In Your Kindness

a beautiful somali community residence right outside our door in mombasa

People expect most conversations will remain on the surface and that you won’t stray from the norm; that you’ll keep it safe. When you make a bold comment about someone’s new look, weight loss, attitude or lifestyle, it rattles them a bit. This level of engagement can be remarkably profound.

I used to be embarrassed to make comments that were overtly kind and seemingly out of the blue. I feel it often, but saying it can be scary and intimidating. I would fear that people were going to think I’m nuts, or that I’ve watched Jerry McGwire one too many times.

But I do it. I’ve made a habit of it. Why? Because I’ve seen the power of a boldly kind and caring comment. I’ve seen the impact it can make, and the joy it brings into the world.

Lots of people notice these opportunities but don’t say anything because it’s too uncomfortable or risky. “What if people think I’m weird?” I’ve got news for you. We’re all weird. Why not use that dynamic to bring more love into the world?

I notice the nuances of life around me because I care. I take the risk of being boldly kind because I care enough to forego my own comfort for the possibility of bringing more joy into someone else’s life.

It took a lot of time and conditioning to create this habit. But now it’s not so scary; it’s fulfilling. And lots of people that know me well have come to expect it from me. I’ve never looked back and regretted being boldly kind with my comments. Never.

People are often scared of engaging too deeply with others because too many variables come into play. It could all go wrong. It could result in hours of conversation you weren’t prepared for or willing to engage in. It could make you look stupid.

Or, it could bless someone immensely and enhance your relationship with them. It could result in something more beautiful than you ever imagine. It could give you strength to show more kindness to others.

People are typically pleasantly shocked when I make a comment like this. They think, “Wow, he noticed, AND took the opportunity to mention it to me”. Remember, most people are scared of making these types of comments. So when they experience it from you, they recognize what you’ve chosen to overcome in order to deliver it.

If you have the opportunity to say something boldly kind to someone, go for it. Say something extraordinary. Chances are, it will bless you just as much as it does the person you’re complimenting.


  1. Theresa Lode on June 10, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Jared…this is something I try to do every time I’m out in the community….the checker at the store….a person at the pool. And you are absolutely right….the blessing always comes back. It never ceases to amaze me how that works. Especially if I’m feeling discouraged about something…lifting someone else’s day is the quickest cure for that.

    Eager to hear when the LIttle Princess will arrive. 🙂

  2. Joseph Lalonde on June 11, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    Jared, just what I needed to hear. Too often I notice something but hold back for fear of offending, being weird, or being taken the wrong way.

    I notice a lot of beauty in the world. But hold the comments to myself. It may just be time to let the comments out.

  3. Jen McDonough on June 11, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    what a FUN post! MOST of the time (not all), I try to be bold in kindness to strangers as well. When I see a stranger walking down the street that has a great color on, a pretty piece of jewelry, or a style that tells you something about their personality, I say whatever compliment comes to mind. I love when you see a haggard mom or dad doing her best with kids – while some may give them the hairy eyebrow, I try look for ways to compliment them on their kids, their patience, or just to tell them they are good parents if they appear to be.

    95% of the time or more it brings a smile to someone’s face as well as mine.

    It is the times I find myself holding back that I feel cheated. Afterwards I think that person may have needed something nice in their life at that moment and I didn’t come through with what taking that little extra effort to do it.

    LOVE your post – let the kindness fly my friend!
    Live Beyond Awesome!

  4. Deb Ingino on June 11, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Jared In a world where negative experiences, car wrecks and the latest celebrity mis-step get the most attention, your post brings us right back to the core of what real connection is about….one life sowing into another.

    Blessed by your words and your heart.


  5. Cass on June 11, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    It’s amazing to me when I say something to a lady in the store, about how I love her blouse, and she looks at me confused. Then, as she processes those words, a beautiful smile emerges from her sweet face with only gratitude. It can change a person’s day by one small act of kindness. It’s free, it’s refreshing to see a genuine smile, and it fills your love tank up as well. Great thoughts, Jared.

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