Can I tell you something? Random Acts of Kindness Day burns me up. It’s all over the ol’ interweb this week, and every time I see the words, I fume.
KT, you might be thinking, this should be your favorite day of the year. You’re always talking about being kind.
Yep yep. I sure am. Always. We are a species that has the capability and forethought to be kind. We should not need a specific day to prompt us to be so. Listen, it takes no effort At All to be kind to others All The Time. I mean, it might take a moment to breathe through a prickly situation, but that’s about it.
Every day, be kind. When you go to a store or a restaurant, read the name tag of the person helping you and address them by name. If you’ve ever worked with the public in any capacity, you know how you can start to feel invisible, like you’re just a drone and people aren’t even noticing you’re really human. Using a cashier, server, or bank teller’s name affirms his or her humanity, reminds her there are reasons to love her job, and makes his day a little brighter. I have Never not gotten a good response from it, but I don’t do it for me. I do it for the person across from me. It is not random. I do it every time I come into contact with a person wearing a name tag, even if I’m just saying, “Excuse me.” It’s such a simple thing to do. Also, always thank them, and thank them by name. Yeah, they’re getting paid to do their job, but sometimes that’s not enough, is it?
Also, any time you’re interacting with another person, try to see things from their point of view. That’s not so hard. Be empathetic, be sympathetic, Be Kind. I feel like I’m kind of lecturing here, but that’s not what I’m trying to do. I just disagree with only doing these things because some Hallmark random day tells you to do them. You know that aunt/sister/parent/brother/grandparent who talks too much and mostly about himself? They might be lonely. Roll your inner eyes if you have to, but be patient with them. Give them a few minutes of your time.
That person who is taking up the whole aisle at the grocery store, staring at the soup cans, talking on her phone, reconnecting with an old friend? Are you really in too big a hurry to smile and wait? Okay, that one can be hard, but I force myself to do it. I literally ask myself why it’s so important for me to get down the aisle in three seconds and remind myself that sometimes I get caught up in the soup cans, too, or can’t find what I’m looking for. We all get so involved in our own thoughts that we don’t realize other people need to get around us. I find the humor, I smile, I wait. Even at Christmas time. Maybe especially at Christmas time.
If someone needs something from you, and you don’t really feel like doing it but there’s no valid reason you shouldn’t, do it. Not because they might owe you something in return one day, but because it’s the kind thing to do. We are social animals, and refusing to help others cuts us off from social opportunities. In fact, volunteer somewhere, even if it’s just to take a friend’s kids for a day and let her have some time to reboot. Hell, take my kids for a day. I’ll be your best friend.
Rather than celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Day, let’s make a pact to be kind every day. To find simple ways to make other people smile. Let’s teach our littles to be those people by setting an example. Cheesy as it is, we could truly change the world.
I’m in if you are.
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