It is easy to forget to be kind to people. Sometimes our head is buried in our smartphone and we don’t take a minute to look up to see who’s around us. We are always in a hurry and holding a door open for someone might be an afterthought.
That Mercedes in the other lane with its blinker on is trying to get over in front of us. But we want to save that extra 5 seconds it will take us to get home, so we don’t let them over. Although you may think you are a kind person, maybe you really aren’t that kind?
Pay Attention to Those Around You
My head has always been a hot mess of jumbled thoughts. A couple of years ago I worked for a law firm and got on the elevator every morning heading up to the 19th floor with ten other people. Of course, I would say hello to the people that I knew, but I never said a word to anyone else.
My mind was always wandering somewhere else. When I would reach my office, I immediately sat down, started up my computer, and got to work.
When I was out at the bar or anywhere in public, I would act similarly. I would focus on who I was meeting and not give two thoughts about anyone else. Now, this doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t hold doors open for people or use my manners, this just meant that I didn’t go out of my way to make a conversation or say hello to a stranger.
When I started hanging out with my fiancée, I started to see what kindness really looked like. She not only would hold a door open for someone, but she would say let them know to have a nice day. It doesn’t matter where she is or who she’s with, she always acknowledges the people around her. I can’t tell you how refreshing this is to see kindness spread just by saying hello to someone.
Every morning instead of rushing to get on the elevator, I wait to see if there is anyone coming in behind me and I let them on the elevator first. I always let the ladies on and off the elevator first, because that is the gentlemanly thing to do.
When interacting with people, I ask how their day is going or start a conversation about the weather. I always let people know to have a nice day before heading to my next destination.
Kindness on the Road
When it comes to being courteous on the road, I am rather selective. There are a ton of horrible drivers out there and you really should be cautious who you allow in front of you and know when you should get out of the way.
When you’re on the freeway and you see a vehicle pulled off to the side of the road, the safe and courteous thing to do is move over into the other lane.
If someone is trying to merge on to the freeway, don’t run them off the road, just let them in.
If they’re going too slow for you, then move over into the other lane. I can’t tell you how many assholes I’ve encountered who won’t let me merge into the lane.
If someone pisses you off, try blowing them a kiss before flipping them the bird. It’s kind of funny to see their reactions.
Lending a Hand
Many years ago while living in Columbus, we were hit with a snowstorm while I was at work.
We had a good 12 inches of snow dumped on us in just a few hours.
When I finally left for the day I was trudging through snow almost up to my knees and when I finally made it to my car it was covered. I started my car, cleaned it off, and got in.
As I was trying to warm up I looked through my rearview mirror and saw an older man who appeared to be struggling to get the snow off of his car.
I thought, man it’s cold out and I really don’t want to go back out there. But when I saw him fall, I immediately jumped out of my car and ran over to him.
I helped him up and asked him to get into his car. I cleared the rest of the snow from his car and gave the car a little push to get it out of the piled-up snow.
Kindness isn’t hard and feels damn good to help someone out. We all need to pay attention to the people around us.
Lending a hand to someone in need goes a long way. That person will never forget the kindness you showed to them.
Saying hello or paying a compliment to a stranger also goes a long way. You have no idea what kind of day that person is having and your simple act of kindness may be the best part of their day.