The news is full of it. Murders, mass shootings, angry demonstrations, and violence within families. It’s enough to make us want to give up and never leave the house, but I think making the world better boils down to one simple concept…kindness and being kind to everyone we meet and interact with. It’s impossible to know what others may be dealing with in their life and being faced with hostility or anger doesn’t mean we have to respond in kind.
I learned this lesson in 1998 when a tornado struck my hometown. As an employee of the City, I dealt with hundreds of citizens in search of help. One man was particularly hostile during every interaction with him and after a few of these interactions, I began to snap back at him. Over the next several days each interaction became more upsetting to both of us to the point where I cringed whenever I saw him.
In the years that followed I had the same negative reaction to him. Then he died and I learned that others saw this man as one of the nicest they had ever met. I couldn’t understand why he was so disagreeable with me until it dawned on me that having your house destroyed in a tornado had been more than he could cope with and my interactions with him, when he was under such duress from the tornado, were not really a true reflection of the man. It was a blip in time when I could have made things better for him by being kinder. The opportunity to be kind, when he needed it the most, was something I let pass me by and which I deeply regret. He passed away without my having had a chance to apologize to him, but I think maybe he would be happy to know that because of him, I now try my best to be kind to everyone even when they are screaming at me. I don’t always succeed, but I do always try.
So today, if someone is less than kind to you, please remember this story and shower them with kindness. As the graphic says, “Just be a good person…”
Be well my friends….