Unexpected Kindness

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We’ve all had to deal with rude people, and we all know how much it sucks, yet lots of people continue to be rude to others. Maybe they just don’t care about others, or completely lack empathy…I don’t know. What I do know is that kindness is usually more effective in most situations than rudeness.

It’s the whole common sense of the Golden Rule. If we are rude, we make someone’s day worse and they’re more likely to be rude to someone else, and the cycle continues. If we are kind, we just make their day, and they’re more likely to pass on that kindness. Of course, some people are cantankerous assholes and what can we do?

I saw a commercial recently where people were just doing small kindnesses for each other and each person who had something nice done for them was surprised and did something nice for someone else. The fact that people are usually surprised by kindness says a lot about our society. It’s a rather sad sign, actually. Shouldn’t it be the norm?

Yesterday, before work, I was at Walgreen’s and the guy in line before me was some dude in his early 20′s and he was 18 cents short for his purchases. He went out to his car to look for change. The cashier rang me up and part of the change allowed me to give 18 cents to the cashier. I said “I’ll cover that dude’s 18 cents.”

As I was walking out, I saw the guy heading back in with a dejected look. It looked like he didn’t have the change after all. I told him “I covered your 18 cents, bro!” His face lit up! He was astounded that anyone would do that, especially in Phoenix where little acts of kindness are very few and far between. As I pulled my car out, he came out of the store, grinning ear to ear and thanked me again. I just nodded and smiled and drove off.

I realized that the only thing that feels better than having a kindness done for me is being able to do one for someone else. It was just a small act, but it made me feel like a more worthy human being. Like that is how things should be.

It’s been shown that people are more energetic, more productive and all around healthier when they are happy. When treated with kindness, people are more dynamic and creative and optimistic. That’s something we could use a lot more of right now. I think spreading more kindness around would help alleviate some of the stress of these very difficult times.

We don’t need more bickering and arguing. We need more moments that make us grateful to be alive. We all need a moment of happiness in the middle of such strange and overwhelming days.

So, here’s hoping we can spread a little more kindness around. Folks, you’ve got homework. Sometime in the next 24 hours, do as many random acts of kindness as you can. Hold a door open, thank someone for some thankless thing they do every day, make someone’s day! Even if you’re having a crappy day, doing something kind will help make it less crappy. At the very least, you’re helping someone else have a less crappy day, and we all know how unexpected kindnesses can really help when we’re down.

Get to it, folks! Make someone’s day!

© 2015 William Suphan

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