By Candace Cameron Bure
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32
When I was filming The View in New York City, I rode the subway. Every day. Multiple times a day. Glamorous, I know! As a California girl, used to the wind in my hair, I found that traveling in the dark underground was hard to get used to. But any self-respecting New Yorker has a Metro card. It’s just part of living in the city. One afternoon, headed home after my workout, I stepped onto the sweaty, standing-room-only subway car at rush hour.
Picture me wearing gym clothes, running shoes, a baseball cap, backpack on my back, earbuds in, trying to be incognito. Got the picture? Maybe this will help: imagine me peeking out from under some tall man’s arm, trying to keep a grip on the germy pole while the car jerks and screeches to a stop.
As I stood there, a woman who looked at least eight months pregnant slid in and grabbed a pole near me. I stood there feeling helpless and anxious, scanning the car, hoping someone would give up their seat for her. I’ve been pregnant three times. It wasn’t too hard to imagine how miserable it would be to stand in a crowded, jerky car with feet swollen after a long day!
But all eyes in the subway car were either closed or focused on phones. Each time we stopped and a seat opened, someone would slide into it before this woman could get there. It was so frustrating to watch. I could hear my mother’s voice saying, “What kind of person lets a pregnant woman ride 40 blocks standing?” Part of me wanted to yell at the other commuters, but I knew that wouldn’t help. So I did what I could. I caught the woman’s eye—a real no-no on the subway—and compassionately smiled. The relief in the smile she returned made my day.
Is a smile between strangers on the subway a little thing? Sure, but it’s the little things that keep us going. The small gestures of compassion and kindness that give us strength to carry on in a crazy day in this crazy world. Maybe a smile doesn’t seem like much, but in a city where people are so quick to get where they’re going, where we pass each other by without any human interaction, it mattered to me. This woman and I saw each other, even if just for an instant.
That’s the invitation kindness offers to you and me: will we stop for even a moment to truly see each other? Every person we pass every day, whether on the street or in the subway, in the checkout line or carpool line, possesses an incredible story, often mixed with beauty and pain.
I see you, sister. Some days, it can be as simple as that.
When you think about it, we’re all looking for a bit of simple kindness. We have a deep desire for empathy—some little sign that another person can imagine walking in our shoes. We want to feel valued, respected, and loved. And when we don’t feel like we’re being respected or loved, that’s when we can get out of sorts.
We’re all prone to feeling tired, overworked, and underappreciated. In those moments, we forget to be empathetic, to consider how the tired, overworked, and underappreciated people around us feel. Ironically, we tend to be least empathetic when others are unkind to us. Rather than stopping to consider what might be causing them to act so prickly, we respond by being rude in return. Rudeness compounds rudeness. It’s a cycle that can go on indefinitely.
That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news. This is a cycle we can break, one interaction at a time.
Consider for a moment Genesis 1:27: “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Don’t race past this. It’s too important! What we read here is that humans were made in the image of God. Bible scholars call this idea the imago Dei. There’s such dignity and holiness in this truth. God is the definition of all good things, and we are made in God’s image! Each and every one of us mirrors our Creator in a unique way. That alone is reason for us to respect each other.
Taken from Kind is the New Classy: The Power of Living Graciously by Candace Cameron Bure. Click here to learn more about this title.
As a woman in today’s world, you know what it’s like to feel pressure on all sides from clashing cultural expectations. How can you stay true to who God has uniquely created you to be in the face of the script you’ve been given? What’s more, how can you stand your ground with grace?
The classy confidence you know and love—whether it’s on set at Full House or Fuller House, Dancing with the Stars, The View, or Candace’s Hallmark films—is no act. But it hasn’t come easy. In fact, learning to stay true to herself with grace has been one of the biggest fights of Candace’s life.
The secret, she has learned, is kindness: it’s classy, unexpected, even counter-cultural, and ultimately wins the day.
In Kind Is the New Classy, Candace reveals the thought patterns and practices that have empowered her to stay centered in who she is while practicing radical graciousness toward others. Whether you’re navigating major life choices, questions of calling and career, relationships, or personal goals, this book will show you how to:
- Keep your cool under pressure
- Respond to criticism with grace
- Stay grounded yet go places in life
- Stay true to who you are despite the expectations of others
- Stay centered in what ultimately matters the most
Kind Is the New Classy is your permission to go off-script, to say goodbye to society’s “should’s” and to step into a new way to flourish as a woman today.
Candace Cameron Bure, actress, producer, New York Times bestselling author, beloved by millions worldwide from her role as D.J. Tanner on the iconic family sitcoms Full House and Fuller House, Hallmark Channel movies, former co-host of The View, inspirational speaker, and Dancing with the Stars Season 18 finalist, is both outspoken and passionate about her family and faith. Candace continues to flourish in the entertainment industry as a role model to women of all ages. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and three children.