The following is a special guest post from Karen Gorbett...
As I’m sure we all know, kindness has been in short supply for quite some time. Sure, the “pay it forward” and “practice random acts of kindness” movements encourage us to be considerate of our fellow man and beast.
However, the kindness I’m referring to is small courtesies that we extend to others in our everyday lives, like…
· When I’m in the grocery store heading down a narrow aisle and someone else is coming toward me….I smile and step aside to let that person pass.
· When I’m at the grocery store in the checkout line with a cart full of groceries and notice the person behind me has 3 items in their arms…I let them go ahead.
· When I’m in Costco and there’s a steady stream of people walking out of the dairy room, not allowing anyone else to enter…I step aside and smile at the ladies who were trying to get in. (This happened today at lunchtime.) They smiled back and said thank you.
(I’m noticing a grocery-food theme here. I really do hang out in places other than grocery stores.)
My experience has been that most people will just go on their way and not acknowledge a kindness or a courtesy. Of course I can’t tell whether they think they deserve special consideration when they ignore me. Or if they can’t be bothered to be civil.
Would I like to be acknowledged in these instances? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.
Even a nod of the head would be welcome. A recognition that the kindness was received. That humanity is not lost in an abyss of “me first.”
People’s reactions to kindness are a puzzle to me. Do they not know how to accept kindness when it is offered? Or don’t they believe it when they see it? Or do they see it and not know how to react?
Sometimes the lack of acknowledgement or response bothers me. My inside voice says, “Really???” And then I remember that I want to treat people the way I want to be treated. And if they can’t/won’t respond, then at least I’ve done my part. And will continue to do so.
Kindness…pass it on!