People aren’t used to kindness. This much has become rather clear to me.
Women are surprised I’ll hold the door open without checking them out. Men will be surprised I hold the door open without being gay or needing a favor. Old ladies smile when I help them with their groceries. If I pass someone a tray at a cafeteria, they look at me weird but smile and eventually remember how to say thank you.
Kindness to me is a way of life and something I put a lot of importance on because I do think one kind act can make the world a better place. I don’t think myself a hero, but I do think myself as an ambassador of kindness because there is so much power in those small acts so many people take for granted.
I’ve been asked if I don’t have situations that discourage me from kindness and the fact is that I often have had situations where people don’t respond in the best way. In Manhattan, I held the door for an older woman and she took another door. I’ve said good morning to people and have them respond: “what’s so great about it?” and others not respond at all.
Like these I have plenty of examples, some even more intense, but I also have the desire to be kind regardless. Like most everyone, I’ve experienced hurt, frustration, and a variety of negative experiences. Regardless of all of that, I still decide to try and give my best and be kind. Even if it’s not appreciated, responded, or noticed, because for every time that’s happened, 20 or more times people have been pleasantly surprised and say thank you. And to me that’s worth the risk and the effort, so I keep being kind.
That’s why I’ll always have an available ear to listen. Because I think it makes a difference and because past experiences shall not define who and how I am. I am one of a kind, not necessarily because I am unique or special, but because whatever cards we’ve been dealt with in life, kindness is and shall always be the best hand to play.
Peace, love, and maki rolls
Ps.: When was the last act of random kindness you did?