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The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Being Kind-A Social Experiment

Have you seen those commercials (I think for insurance? It’s been a long time since I saw a real commercial) when people see someone do a random act of kindness for a stranger and then they do something nice for a stranger?  I know you have.

Now I  know every single one of my readers is a kind, loving, wonderful person.  I’ve read all of your blogs at one point or other (cause I love you all) and know that while some of you may be snarky (and I love you for it!  Some days you just need some good snark), you are each and every one of you generous, funny, and amazing in your own special way.  I also know that you are kind.  You may not think so, but I know you are.  I’ve been thinking about kindness lately.  I am, according to my friends, generally a kind person.  I try to be kind and polite to everyone.  I don’t always succeed, but I do try.  I realized the other day though that I could be more kind. Kind to strangers.  I try, I really do, but some days I’m tired and irritable and just don’t feel like it. BUT!  But, what if that grumpy guy in line behind me is having a really bad day too and once small act of kindness on my part might make it a little better?  If I’m in a store with a trolley full of stuff and the person behind me has only one or two items, I almost always let them go ahead of me.  This really seems to put the Germans off kilter.  They look at me like I’m crazy, but always smile and thank me as they zip ahead of me.  Oddly enough, it makes me kind of happy too. 

Has a stranger ever done anything nice to you for no reason?  Maybe they let you jump ahead in line when you had only a few items or picked up something you dropped and returned it to you.  Maybe they just smiled at you when you were feeling down.  Think how that made you feel.  Could you pass it on?

I’m going to endeavor to try to be more kind to strangers as a general rule.  I’m asking all of you to try to do the same.  Think of it as a social experiment.  Try it for one full day.  Be as nice as possible, even if you don’t feel like it.  Smile at people.  Let them cut in line.  Compliment someone.  Hold a door open for a harried mom trying to wrangle her 3 overly tired children.  Look the cashier in the eye and tell them they’re doing a good job.  See how it makes them feel.  See how it makes you feel.  I don’t expect some bazaar timeline circle of paying it forward, but I think you’ll see a difference in others and yourself.  If you do, please tell me how it went and how it felt.  But please, don’t stop the snark on the blogs.

10 comments:

Crazy Shenanigans said...

You're right....a complete stranger can make your day. I was at my new job and I was getting a bottle of water out of a vending machine and I thought it was a buck but it was 1.25 and someone gave me a quarter. It made my day!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Good post! (I've been out of town for a few days) I was at the mall with my little ones a few months ago, and I didn't have any change with me for them to ride on those car/train/helicopter ride things. A sweet lady gave me 75 cents so my girls could enjoy the ride too. I thought that was so sweet!! :) I love doing random acts of kindness! :)

marty39 said...

Such a great post. I also try to be aware of women with children, or the elderly or just anyone that I can help in a small way. It's funny how just a smile and taking the time to look around you instead of just buzzing through your day and not really noticing anything or anyone. How wonderful it would be if everyone would try to just do one kind act a day. Thanks for the post and I will try harder. Hugs, Marty

abnsigoslady said...

This is a great idea. I am going to take the challenge. Laura

Susie Q said...

Yep, I try to do the same thing. My favorite thing? When I have a kid holding a door open...I make it a point to thank them and if their parent is there, I thank them too! I worked hard to teach my kids those things...my oldest son is in the Army and so the yes sir and no sir, yes ma'am stuff was already second nature to him. ;D He did tell me that he's been told he's the most polite *ss that any of them have met. We raised a smart*ss...and apparently it sunk in....but at least he's a polit one!

Design it Chic said...

Yup. i hear you! I've never thought that such a small thing would make such a huge difference either.. but it does.I experimented this thing with letting a pregnant lady cut infront of me at the register line, and she looked so pleasantly surprised and unexpectedly it made me feel good to. Now that episode of Friends pops up in my head, when Phoebe and Joey argue about not existing a selfless good deed...and it makes me wonder...
But awesome initiative! Encourage everyone! Take care!
Niky

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

Great post! You know I'd say I would try it but I already do that every day. I have to admit though, that I have seriously thought of amending my behavior. It seems more than naught I that folk look at me like I have an alternative motive or am a weirdo.I end up having my feelings hurt or get so disappointed in human kind. But then I realize, I can't be mean to people; I am just not wired to not smile or not be kind. Can't say it's gotten me far but maybe I will get to heaven!

Captain Dumbass said...

I am a pillar of good manners, but I'll make an extra effort since you asked.


AHAHAHAHHAHHHAHAA.

No, for real.

K said...

This is a great idea.

I think a little kindness goes a long way.

Jennifer said...

I really Like that you said all of this. There are times where sometimes you just need to vent, but how hard is it really to do that little something extra that is nice. I was at our local Walmart yesterday. It was raining. Well I hate that the little onld ladies have to dry off the carts when they come in wet. Some of them can't really do that very well. I know I always hate having a wet cart. So i took all my bags in 2 arms and left my wonderful dry cart there for someone else to enjoy. Just think if everyone did that no more wet carts! Just a thought!
Have A Great Day!
Jennifer

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