You are not mean. You’re not naturally the disrespectful, low tipping, road-raging type. None of us are. It’s not in our nature. You are thoughtful, reflective, and sensitive to those around you—or least you try to be.
I believe that we are naturally kind.
That being said, it’s easy to forget about acting in a kind manner 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is also easy to forget to be kind all of the time.
We don’t mean to let it slip through the cracks—but we might often forget to be kind when we are exhausted, angry or distracted.
So, may I propose to you, that keeping kindness at the forefront of your consciousness is good for you, and good for those around you. It’s not good enough just to be kind, it’s important to act with kindness too.
In my opinion, here’s what you must always remember to do. Here is what crooks and thieves do not do. Here is what median does not do.
Smile. Make eye contact. Ask questions back. Move on.
For example, when you are next in line and you step up to the counter the clerk will, routinely, ask you, “How are you? What can I get you?”
A person may reply, “Good. Can I get a. . .” and continue to place the order with no pause between his response and his request. Now this response may not be bad, however, it’s a standard response. It won’t change anyone’s day. It won’t stand out.
I believe a thoughtful comeback to, “How are you?” is, “I’m fine. Thank you, and you?”
Smile. Eye contact. Pause for response.
That simple act of kindness, of humanity, reminds those around us that we are living in a society. It reminds us that human population is all connected by a common thread, and one pull on the thread affects the rest of us.
Try it out and see what kind of response you get. Try your best to keep kindness at the forefront of your mind with simple actions such as smiling and making eye contact. These acts of kindness are not random, they are something you have to work on, especially when you are exhausted after a long day, but I think if you put in a little bit of the effort, the reward is great.
Waitress carrying three plates with meat dish image courtesy of Shutterstock