Unless you are a narcissist, a politician or Hillary Clinton you have probably noticed that committing random acts of kindness is a good thing. Not only are you helping someone else but you’re making you feel better.
The other day going thru a McDonald’s Drive thru I was surprised that when I arrived at Window #1, my coffee order had been paid for by the person in front of me. WOW!!! Never had that happen to me before. A complete stranger gifted me a cup of coffee. I paid for the car behind me to keep the good feeling going, after checking to make sure the driver was alone. OK maybe I am a little cheap, if it was a mini-van with a half-dozen screaming little people (I don’t mean Dwarfs) I admit I might not have paid. Anyway the person behind me had a small order but paying for that order gave me a big smile and a happy feeling. Since I was on my way to the miserable job I need to pay my bills and continue my blogging experience, the whole episode got my day off to a good start.
So, if kindness makes us feel better, why does it seem to be in short supply. Not sure what the answer is to that question, but in an attempt to encourage more kindness in today’s world I would like to list the reasons why kindness can make us feel GREAT!!!
Smiling: I smiled when I realized my coffee had been paid for by a complete stranger and I also smiled because I was doing the same kindness for the person behind me. Smiling is a great way to start the day. I know I try to smile as often as I can throughout my day, sometimes I even laugh at myself just to try to have a more stress free day. Also, I admit since I work in IT and have to deal with computer users on occasion I also laugh at those users when I come across people who just don’t have common sense. Yeah I know, I guess that isn’t in the customer service code of conduct rules but dang it, some people just be stupid. Anyway, smiling whenever and wherever and however you can is definitely a good thing.
Doing a Good Deed: I remember one time while standing in line to pay at a restaurant and the line was at a stand-still. I heard raised voices at the register, and it came to my attention that the cashier was yelling at a customer because they did not have enough money to pay for their meal. Now I will admit my first thought was this customer was a slacker and was causing a commotion probably in an attempt to get something for nothing. Cooler heads prevailed as a kindly gentleman in line paid the amount owed so the cashier wouldn’t call police and the customer could be on their way. Then a thought occurred to me, maybe that customer was on a strict budget and just miscalculated how much money they had. I figured if they really were attempting to get a free meal they could have just left the restaurant at anytime without waiting in line to pay. I felt bad for having a negative thought initially, but then I smiled because someone much nicer than I had the good sense to be kind.
You Just Might Make a Friend: Committing an act of kindness might also lead to meeting new people who become a friend or acquaintance. For instance, I remember a night out at one of my favorite drinking establishments when I prowled the dark streets of Philadelphia. I was sitting at the bar enjoying a cold one while a guy next to me was chatting with a young lady who was seated next to him. I was watching sports on TV and not really following their conversation but my attention was diverted when this young lady launched a right cross that Mike Tyson would have been proud of, and knocked the patron next to me off the bar stool and onto the floor. Apparently the guy had said something he shouldn’t have to this woman and she let him have it. When he picked himself up off the floor he was angry and took a step toward the young lady who had decked him. Now I ain’t the hero type but I stepped in front of him and held him until a bouncer could escort him from the premises. No harm, no foul and the young woman bought me a cold beer for my effort. We began talking and she actually was a new employee at the bar. Now we never dated or hooked up, but whenever I returned to that bar I always knew a cold beer was waiting for me as well as some good conversation. Hey, you really can meet new people at odd times.
Self Esteem: All that kindness you are creating will have an excellent effect on your self-esteem. You will feel better, the person or people you’re helping will feel better. What could be better than that. Practicing acts of kindness can be uplifting, make you happy and bring you joy. It can give you a sense of worth because you are actually doing something that makes an impact large or small in someone else’s life. At the very least the person you help will be sharing the story of your help with others just like I am doing.
What Goes Around Comes Around: We have all heard about karma. Bad karma produces bad results because we commit bad acts that impact others in a negative way. Good karma produces good results because of something we do good for others. I had a free coffee and that triggered a free happy meal for the person behind me and that person may have kept the good times rolling by buying something for someone behind them and so on and so forth. Somewhere in that line of goodness at the Drive Thru there may have been someone having a really awful day but, an act of kindness in that line made them smile or feel a little better even if it was only for a few minutes. That sort of positive act might just come back to you when you need it at some point in your daily journey. You never know….
Anyway, that is my blog for today. Kindness, go ahead and give it a try. Doesn’t cost much and the rewards can be plentiful. Till next time……