Kindness is a fruit of the human spirit or attitude (Gal.5: 22). It is a fruit that does not grow on its own, but it must be seeded or planted and then nurtured and cultured until it bears fruit. In my own life, my parents began to instill the idea of kindness into me when I behave inappropriately as a child. From then on it became a life-long task. I became even more conscientious as an adult, in particular when I was on the receiving end. I was not always aware or perceptive until I was in need of some form of kindness myself. And I did learn early that there were many kind people that were kind without being friends. I learned this before I encountered a religious or soul change. Without the seed of kindness planted within our heart, conversion or a sudden awareness of kindness for an adult could become nearly impossible. It has to be part of our upbringing and then a continuous practice throughout life. In fact, kindness is the root of all that is good in mankind.
A fourth desirable characteristic for a favorable Attitude is patience (Gal.5: 22). It is the ability and willingness to hang on or respond in difficult and different conditions and circumstances. Since we are all different, so is patience. Many of us are in a hurry and require breaks. Just as many or more are too slow and need to be pushed. In either case, we shall find that God moves with us at our speed. The Bible encourages us to wait on the Lord and He shall direct our path (Ps.37: 34). The people that were inspired to write about patience, learned from their own failures to be patient. They had fortified themselves with faith hope and love in God and only few were allowed to see their patience rewarded in this life (Heb. 11). Of course, we are not the Biblical Patriarchs or the Saints and we are on a much shorter leash of patience. Nevertheless, we are just as much in need of patience as they were and it is up to us to acquire it and make use of it. Those of us that do can cool our temper and become lesser fools. A physician had this advice, "Gentlemen, let us not hurry; we have no time to lose" (Wa. 2311).
The third need in attitude is being at peace with one self and others (Gal.5: 22). I would like to call it, "the ability to ease tensions." Jesus encouraged His disciples thus, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (Jn.14: 27). On Christmas 1924, Thomas Hardy penned these words: "Peace upon earth was said; we sing it and pay a million priests to bring it. After two thousand years of mass, we have got as far as poison gas" (Wa. 2376). Since then, scientists have added the "H Bomb" and some "Nukes." Neither scientific progress nor religion has brought us peace. Rather, they have turned us into nervous bundles of fear.
The second characteristic of a good attitude is joy (Gal.5: 22). When it becomes active, it spreads cheers. Jesus made this statement, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (Jn.16: 33). Joy can be a door that keeps out the obstacles the world throws at us. And when we dare to spread some cheer in spite of our trials and tribulations then even the world begins to bow at our attitude. It is difficult to look at a cheerful countenance without mellowing and reciprocating in some manner. Joy originates in the heart and then puts a smile on the face (Prov.15: 13). "A cheerful heart is good medicine" (Prov.17: 22). "It takes sixty-four muscles of the face to make a frown and only thirteen to make a smile" (Wa. 2190). Why not try smiling for fun?