Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Lesson in Kindness: Don't be an Asshole



The day after my mother passed away, I had to stop and get gas on my way to the funeral home to make arrangements. I pulled into the pump in a daze at a haphazard angle and was filling my tank. Suddenly a car pulled up next to me, the driver rolled down the window and he and his female passenger proceeded to flip me off and shout "FUCK YOU, IDIOT! LEARN HOW TO PARK!" and then angrily pull out of the parking lot, tires squealing. 

Did they know my mom just died in a hospital bed 12 hours before? No. Did they know I was barely functioning on caffeine, adrenaline, and emotions? No. They saw an idiot who didn't pull far enough forward to let another car pass, and let their anger spill hatefully onto me. Would they have been less likely to shout at me if they knew the situation? Maybe. I'll never know. I'm sure they sped away feeling better. Somehow superior that they had "given that girl the 'what for'" and felt vindicated and lighter after having spewed out some of their emotions. I however, was left stunned, holding a gas pump the victim of what I can only call a rage vomit, wondering what the hell is wrong with people.

When did we forget to be kind?

My son is three, and kindness is a big deal in his world. We're consistently talking about it, trying to emulate it, and praising him when he exhibits it. His teacher told me at preschool pick-up one day about how his friend was sad and he gave her a toy and a hug so she would feel better.  His little chest puffed out and he smiled and said, "Mama, I was kind!" 

We get older and the luster of kindness fades somehow. Our capacity for empathy lessens as we focus on what is best for us. We turn to countless books, blogs, coaches, and podcasts for tips to help us increase our social circle/raise our profile/garner goodwill/climb the career ladder. While many are excellent resources, I'm pretty sure I can distill them all down and find one common thread:

BE KIND. DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE.

Seriously. It's that simple. When faced with a situation you have a choice in how you will handle it. Will you take the high road? Give benefit of the doubt? Offer empathy and grace even if the other person may not? 

Now, before I go further a disclaimer: I'm not talking about engaging in toxic relationships, or giving kindness to an abusive person. This is more of your day-to-day social interactions with colleagues, acquaintances and strangers. And I can already hear you, "But why should I give the benefit of the doubt to someone who is probably just rude/inconsiderate/you insert the adjective?"

BECAUSE WHAT IF THEY'RE NOT?

When I was 25 I worked for a group of surgeons in Austin, TX. I helped run the front office and one of my duties was the lunch run. Every Thursday, I'd drive up the hill to Luby's (for those of you not in Texas it's a cafeteria and a little slice of heaven) and pick-up my called-in order. Every Thursday, I would see *Myrna a middle-aged and surly woman behind the counter. She would demand my name (even though I'm sure she knew it) bark out my total, snatch my payment, and shove the bag of takeout my way. EVERY. SINGLE. THURSDAY. 

Here's where you get a little insight into my 25-year-old personality...I was not going to let Myrna's grumpiness win. I was going to win her over. I was going to make her like me. So over the course of the next 6 months, I would cheerfully pick up my order, generously tip on the credit card receipt, and wish her a good day every Thursday. One week a few months into our dance, the cooks were backed up and we all had to wait for our food longer than usual. The other lunch-goers were pacing, impatiently huffing, and Myrna was extra surly as a result. When I finally picked up my food, I once again thanked her, tipped, and wished her a good day. This time she responded, "You too!"

Over the next few months we developed a rapport. I'd make small talk while I paid and I learned that this was Myrna's 2nd job. That she also cared for her ailing mother, and helped look after for her young grandchildren while her daughter was in school on her rare days off. Her exhausted surly attitude was well-earned, a fact I never would have learned if I had dismissed her like so many other patrons, or hadn't persisted in being kind. She began to slide extra condiments, napkins, and the occasional treat into my bag. Turns out, Myrna like a lot of people, had a solid gold heart inside of her gruff exterior. 

I realize that this is all a bit Pollyanna, but hang with me. What if we committed to being kind to one another even 50% of the time? Can you imagine the kindness revolution we'd start? If instead of honking angrily at someone at a stop sign, what if we waved them on? What if we shrugged off a rude salesperson instead of complaining to their manager? (I'm so guilty of this one! I may have a heart for kindness, but I have a quick trigger when I perceive an injustice or slight.) What if we left a solid 20% tip even when service was terrible instead of making a point by leaving spare change. What would the ripples of that kindness be? Here's the thing, you'll likely never know, it may feel at times like you're going around depositing kindness and your own account is empty, but I choose to believe as Aesop said "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." 

And to the couple at the gas pump. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you were having a shitty day too.

*name changed because privacy and kindness :)

17 comments:

  1. i want to testify about the great spell caster called Dr Azuka my husband and i have been married for 5 years now we don't have a child and the doctor told us i can't give birth because my womb have been damaged due to wrong drugs prescription this got me so worried and my husband was not happy so he decided to get married to another girl and divorce me i was so sad i told my friend about it she told me about a powerful spell caster she gave me his email address well i never believe in it that much though i just decided to give him a try and he told me it will take 24hrs to get my husband back to me and i will get pregnant i doubted him the 3rd day my husband came back to me and was crying he said he didn't want the divorce anymore 3 weeks after the doctor confirmed that i was pregnant he can also help you contact him via email: Dr.azukasolutionhome@gmail.com What’s app or call: +44 7520 636249‬



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    2. Hello all viewer online HIV has cure but doctor said Hiv/Aids has no cure until i met Dr SAYO who help me in my life. I was infected with HIV/AIDS in 2008, i went to many hospitals for cure but there was no solution, so I was thinking how can I get a solution, so that my body can be okay. until this faithful day as i was browsing the net I saw a testimony on how Dr.SAYO helped people in curing HIV Disease, quickly I copied his Email which is sayoherbalhealer@gmail.com so i contacted him for solution for my HIV, so Dr.SAYO told me that his going to prepare herbal medicine for my health, then he prepared the medicine and luckily after two week my Hiv/Aids was be cured. Dr SAYO is well recognize as one of the best herbalist doctor in Africa, you don't have to be sad anymore or share your tears anymore on this disease when the cure have already be found by Dr.SAYO herbal medicine, he so cure HERPES,CANCER, ALS,HEPATITIS B, DIABETIC check his FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/Sayo-Herbal-Healer-100145798345000/ OR visit his websites website; http://sayoherbalhealer.website2.me/  check blog: https://sayoherbalhealer.blogspot.com/    
























      Hello all viewer online HIV has cure but doctor said Hiv/Aids has no cure until i met Dr SAYO who help me in my life. I was infected with HIV/AIDS in 2008, i went to many hospitals for cure but there was no solution, so I was thinking how can I get a solution, so that my body can be okay. until this faithful day as i was browsing the net I saw a testimony on how Dr.SAYO helped people in curing HIV Disease, quickly I copied his Email which is sayoherbalhealer@gmail.com so i contacted him for solution for my HIV, so Dr.SAYO told me that his going to prepare herbal medicine for my health, then he prepared the medicine and luckily after two week my Hiv/Aids was be cured. Dr SAYO is well recognize as one of the best herbalist doctor in Africa, you don't have to be sad anymore or share your tears anymore on this disease when the cure have already be found by Dr.SAYO herbal medicine, he so cure HERPES,CANCER, ALS,HEPATITIS B, DIABETIC check his FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/Sayo-Herbal-Healer-100145798345000/ OR visit his websites website; http://sayoherbalhealer.website2.me/  check blog: https://sayoherbalhealer.blogspot.com/    








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  2. I never believed that i will be happy again after much frustration. I have been rejected by my husband after Six(6) years of marriage just because he met another woman and he left me and the kids to suffer. One day when i was reading through the web i stumbled at a post on how chief dr lucky the great spell caster has helped people to restore broken marriages and relationships and curing of diseases. I emailed him immediately to help my situation via: chiefdrlucky@gmail.com He told me not to worry that my husband will return to me begging and shedding tears of forgiveness. I am so happy that my husband actually returned to me in 48 hours after i obeyed the words and instructions of chief dr lucky. contact him today in any of your problems for a lasting solution via: chiefdrlucky@gmail.com or call/whats app +2348132777335 Website: http://chiefdrluckysolutionhome.website2.me/  

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  3. I never believed that i will be happy again after much frustration. I have been rejected by my husband after Six(6) years of marriage just because he met another woman and he left me and the kids to suffer. One day when i was reading through the web i stumbled at a post on how chief dr lucky the great spell caster has helped people to restore broken marriages and relationships and curing of diseases. I emailed him immediately to help my situation via: chiefdrlucky@gmail.com He told me not to worry that my husband will return to me begging and shedding tears of forgiveness. I am so happy that my husband actually returned to me in 48 hours after i obeyed the words and instructions of chief dr lucky. contact him today in any of your problems for a lasting solution via: chiefdrlucky@gmail.com or call/whats app +2348132777335 Website: http://chiefdrluckysolutionhome.website2.me/  

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  4. I want to thank Dr Emu a very powerful spell caster who help me to bring my husband back to me, few month ago i have a serious problem with my husband, to the extend that he left the house, and he started dating another woman and he stayed with the woman, i tried all i can to bring him back, but all my effort was useless until the day my friend came to my house and i told her every thing that had happened between me and my husband, then she told me of a powerful spell caster who help her when she was in the same problem I then contact Dr Emu and told him every thing and he told me not to worry my self again that my husband will come back to me after he has cast a spell on him, i thought it was a joke, after he had finish casting the spell, he told me that he had just finish casting the spell, to my greatest surprise within 48 hours, my husband really came back begging me to forgive him, if you need his help you can contact him with via email: Emutemple@gmail.com or add him up on his whatsapp +2347012841542 is willing to help any body that need his help.
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  5. I want to thank Dr Emu a very powerful spell caster who help me to bring my husband back to me, few month ago i have a serious problem with my husband, to the extend that he left the house, and he started dating another woman and he stayed with the woman, i tried all i can to bring him back, but all my effort was useless until the day my friend came to my house and i told her every thing that had happened between me and my husband, then she told me of a powerful spell caster who help her when she was in the same problem I then contact Dr Emu and told him every thing and he told me not to worry my self again that my husband will come back to me after he has cast a spell on him, i thought it was a joke, after he had finish casting the spell, he told me that he had just finish casting the spell, to my greatest surprise within 48 hours, my husband really came back begging me to forgive him, if you need his help you can contact him with via email: Emutemple@gmail.com or add him up on his whatsapp +2347012841542 is willing to help any body that need his help.
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  6. THE MOST RELIABLE SPELL CASTER THAT CAN HELP YOU GET BACK YOUR LOST LOVE BACK WITHIN 24HRS. (DOCTOR0LOVESPELL@GMAIL.COM)
    My name is Tonyas Mary from Canada, I want to quickly tell the world that there is a real on line spell caster that is powerful and genuine, His name is Dr love0 He helped me recently to reunite my relationship with my husband who left me, When i contacted Dr love0 he cast a love spell for me, and my husband who said he doesn't have anything to do with me again called me and started begging me to come back. he is back now with so much love and care. today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the powers to restore broken relationship back. because i am now happy with my husband. To anyone who is reading this article and needs any help, Dr love0 can also offer any type of help like, Curing of all types of Diseases, Court Cases, Pregnancy Spell, Spiritual protection and lot's more. You can contact him Via email (doctor0lovespell@gmail.com) check his blogs: https://doctorlovespell0.blogspot.com/  or check website:  https://doctor0lovespell.wixsite.com/lovespell or visit his FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Love-Spell-Doctor0-107453264273672/  

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  7. HELLO EVERYONE.. FEW MUNINETS TO REDY THIS INFOR ON HERPES CURE 2018..
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  8. A MIRACLE TESTIMONY FOR WHAT Dr SAY0 HAS DONE FOR ME!!  
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  9. Hello everyone out there, I'm here to give my testimony about a herbalist doctor who helped me. I was infected with HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS in 2011, I went to many hospitals to heal myself but there was no solution, so I was thinking how I can get a solution so that my body can be well. One day I was in the river thinking about where I can go to get a solution. so a lady walked towards me telling me why I'm so sad and I open everything by telling her my problem, she told me she could help me, she introduced me to a doctor who uses herbal medicines to cure the SIMPLEX HERPES VIRUS and gave me your email, so I sent you an email. He told me everything I had to do and also gave me instructions to take, which I followed correctly. Before I knew what was happening after two weeks, the SIMPLEX HERPES VIRUS that was in my body disappeared. therefore, if you also have a broken heart and need help, you can also send an email to {oliha.miraclemedicine@gmail.com}or whatsapp him number: +2349038382931 or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/drolihamiraclemedicine/Contact him today and he will have a testimony ... Good luck!
    Dr. OLIHA also cures:1. HIV / AIDS2. HERPES 1/23. CANCER4. ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)5. Hepatitis B6. chronic pancreatic7. emphysema8. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

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  10. Thank God for using Dr Ojamo to get me cured from Herpes virus
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  11. A GREAT SPELL CASTER (DR. EMU) THAT HELP ME BRING BACK MY EX GIRLFRIEND.
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    Call or Whats-app him: +2347012841542

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  12. just to make the story short, few weeks ago i founded a herbalist Dr. online who has cured thousand of Herpes virus patients with 100% excellent result and i inquire the treatment for me and my husband taking it for two weeks and we got cured i just want to use this medium to thanks Dr Ogedegbe for his wonderful treatment he so-much saved us from this virus his information has been attached to my post you can reach out to him via:  dr.ogedegbe6@gmail.com, whatsapp number +2348109374702  . Thanks to you Dr Ogedegbe for curing me and my husband from this deadly virus.he also cure the following ......HPV....ALS...COPD...CANCER......DIABETES.......

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  13. When I found Dr. Paul I was in desperate need of bringing my ex lover back. He left me for another woman. It happened so fast and I had no say in the situation at all. He just dumped me after 3 years with no explanation. I contact Dr.Paul through his website and He told me me what i need to do before he can help me and i did what he told me to, after i provided what he wanted, he cast a love spell to help us get back together. Shortly after he did his spell, my boyfriend started texting me again and felt horrible for what he just put me through. He said that I was the most important person in his life and he knows that now. We moved in together and he was more open to me than before and then he started spending more time with me than before. Ever since Dr. Paul helped me, my partner is very stable, faithful and closer to me than before. I highly recommends Dr. Paul to anyone in need of help. Email: astoriashrine@ gmail com, Call him or add him on whatsapp via: +2349051441669

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