Kindness Works

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’ve got a competitive streak. Just ask my family.

The latest evidence of my drive to win (aka my cutthroat tendencies :)) occurred during our Easter visit to Mom and Dad’s. Yes, I indulged in cutthroat behavior on Easter weekend. It seems my desire to conquer knows no bounds. Good grief :)

This time the game was Mexican Train Dominoes. You know—that nice little game that almost anyone can play. Nice, that is, until I implement my Mexican train policy. Yes, I have a policy :)

In this version of dominoes, after everyone has their first turn and plays on the double in the middle, someone can start the Mexican train off to the side (using another of the same number as the double in the middle). This is a neat, wild-card feature to the game that allows players to get rid of dominoes that don’t fit into their own train somewhere.

Now, if a player can’t play on their own train, he has to draw from the pile until he can play on his spot. Since that can get super depressing real fast, someone usually has pity on that poor person and plays on his train to try to help get him started. But me? I have a policy—a policy to start the Mexican train first. In other words, I do what’s best for me in the long-run instead of helping someone from my very own family. I told you I was bloodthirsty :)

Of course, my family gives me trouble about this little policy, but as I said to them Easter weekend, “What good’s a policy if you don’t live by it?” We all laughed, and it immediately became an ongoing joke.

You’d think my fellow players would pay me back big-time when I didn’t have the right domino to start my own trains, but believe it or not, they didn’t. Someone would take pity on me right away instead of starting the Mexican train like I would if given the chance. I humbly thanked each benefactor and then next round, I’d go right back to playing by my notorious policy.

In the days after we returned home, I kept thinking of the kindness and compassion shown to me—not only by my family but by my Heavenly Father as well. My competitive heart began to soften. I decided that maybe it’s time to change my policy. Kindness looks more attractive than winning. (At least that’s how it looks when I’m not in the throes of a game :))

If kindness can work to change my cutthroat behavior, I wonder what else kindness can change? When we are faced with someone’s hard-hearted or even downright mean behavior toward us or our loved ones, I wonder what would happen if we implemented a kindness policy?

It might take awhile. We might not see immediate results. But there’s a good chance kindness will soften that hard heart. For you see, kindness works. I’m living proof.

“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.’” Jeremiah 31:3

*How have you seen kindness work before?

*Don’t miss out on the “This One’s for the Girls Giveaway”! Deadline to enter is noon on Mother’s Day.

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*Flickr photo by Earl-Wilkerson


  1. As one who has witnessed your game policies in action, I am looking forward to our next gaming opportunity! This is going to be good! Love You!
    Also, this article is very nicely written.

  2. Oh what a wonderful post! You are so right kindness can change so many things. I have seen it in action and I so agree with Janice this post was so nicely written. Awesome words and thoughts to start the week on!Thanks.

  3. Cheryl!! We need to play because I’m just like you. Except we play Pigtail, a little different version that I actually like better than Mexican Train.

    And our family plays dog-eat-dog…cut-throat…All in fun, of course!

    But yes, I do praise God that His policy is to love me and cause all things to work together for His glory. :-)

    I had no idea you were so vicious! A game-playing woman after my own heart. :-)

  4. Janice, I’m just hoping I can follow through with kindness in the heat of battle :) I’ll try to adjust my Mexican train policy but don’t know if I’ll be able to let up anywhere else :) Love to you, too!

    Alicia, so glad you enjoyed the post — appreciate your sweet words!

    Vonda, love to hear that we’re both serious gamers :) I’ve heard you mention Pigtail before on your Facebook status update but don’t know exactly what it is. Bet I would love it! :)

  5. Oh Cheryl, this was hilarious! I, too, have a serious competitive streak, so I totally get you. Haha!

    Have a great week!

  6. Oh does it ever sweetie!!! I have a bit (huge) of a competitive streak in me too. Seems family and friend love me anyway! Heeehehehe!

    A little over a year ago I put out a plea for prayer for a gal in my Sunday School class and Kid’s Church. I only asked for prayer…the gifts and boxes of love are still comin’ for her. I’m amazed of the love and support this young woman has receive through this very ‘kind’ carin’ blog world.

    Great post sweetie.

    God bless ya and have a magnificent week filled with kindness!!! :o)

  7. Well, who knew, Cheryl? You look so sweet and sound so kind and gentle in your posts! I wonder if that competitive streak could be used to win people for Jesus. . .? There has to be a way to not waste it!

  8. Julie & Nezzy, loved hearing that you gals also have a competitive streak. Glad I’m not the only one! :)

    Jana, looks can be deceiving, huh? :) Seriously, I do try to be a kind person. It’s just especially hard when I play games :) And even though I’m going to change my Mexican train policy, I have a feeling my competitive tendencies will keep on coming! :)

  9. I’ve had plenty of opportunities in recent days to exercise kindness. Being the recipient of “ugliness” has heightened my awareness of how I should treat others.

    Kindness is a good balm for all of life’s worries and woes.


  10. What is it about a friendly game with family that brings out the competitor in us? I try to play with kindness…unless it comes to my brother or (ahem) husband. They get no slack from me whatsoever. ;)

  11. Hee, hee, Kirsten — I totally understand :)

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