Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kindness to a stranger

Have you ever considered how a moment of your time and your kindness could mean the world to someone. I never really thought about it on this level before but it's true. You never know when your kindness could help someone desperately in need of perspective and a few positive words. A few words could snap someone out of a negative state and bring them back down to reality.

One day, on the train I was watching the most touching interaction between an older man and a young man. The older man had just gotten off of work and looked so tired. The younger man looked like he just got off a plane with his luggage and he looked down. The older man struck up a conversation with the young man and it led the young man to saying that he had screwed up. His demeanor was even sadder than before. It was like he just revealed a huge secret to this man. The older man told him to hang in there and things get better. He told him that we live in a microwave society and all of the young people want what they want right now. He tried to explain to the young man that life did not always deliver immediate results. I started to see the younger man straighten up his stance and look a little more freed of his stress and frustration.

When the young man got off the train I took his spot standing by the door and I told the older man that what he did was great. The fact that he took his time to share his wisdom really helped that young man out. I also told him that I loved the term microwave society. It is one of the truest things I have ever heard. We all do want what we want immediately. I am very guilty of living a life with little patience. The man and I continued to talk until I got to my stop. He was very genuine and kind. Society is missing that easy, yet very genuine conversation that strangers have when waiting patiently to get somewhere. We no longer wait anywhere patiently and we do not give strangers the time of day.

When I was in my early 20s I would always say hi to passing people and smile to give off warmth and not have such a cold self-involved demeanor. Now that I am in my late 20s I realized not too long ago that I completely stopped doing that years ago. I stopped without giving it a though, probably because most hellos were not returned. But why should that matter if they are returned, who cares. If you make one person smile because you are being nice for no good reason than it is totally worth it. A good friend of mine is great at saying hello to everyone and spreading her positive attitude by simply acknowledging people and saying hi.

Challenge yourself to say hi to at least five people that you don't know everyday. You don't have to go home with them or anything but say hi in passing. See if they say hi back. If they do, you might be surprised at how refreshing it feels to share a positive moment with someone. Even if you may never see them again. We as a society need to regain perspective, we do not have to do everything to get something in return for it. And if you do, think of the return being making someones day.

Oh and by the way....HI!!
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