I practice random acts of kindness all the time. (We do.) We’re those people who pick up litter in our path, hold doors, overtip a great server, let the pregnant pee first, pay for a coffee or a meal, let people with fewer items go first, pick up stuff people drop, offer to help the lady find her car…We’re helpery like that.
We’ve fallen into such a disturbing loss of civility in our society that people are offended by others mentioning their acts of kindness instead of thinking they should do more of that themselves. I’ve seen people accused of being shallow, trendy, and even exploitative for helping others. I do not buy into this. I’m too deep and too square to buy into that. My soul has determined that humans are a great force of love. We can all do STUFF to make the world a better place. What we call kindness now, I’m fairly certain used to be called COMMON COURTESY.
If you think I’m bragging, you should be ashamed. There, I said it.
Now, The Mister and I were raised this way, so it may perhaps come more easily for us, but there is no reason why anyone, even those raised by greedy selfish meanies, can’t start being kind and helpful to people.
I realize there’s a month when it’s actual Random Act of Kindness time, but for the love of puppies, you can do it all the time. It’s not like how you can only eat the McRib for a limited time, or how taxes are due on a certain day — You can actually be kind any ol time you like, and if you don’t understand that, I’ll assume you only love Jesus on Easter and Christmas. Oh wait, what? Yes, I said that too.
Now I caution you as to where the mostly comes in.
It’s a risk. Being kind and helpful doesn’t always result in smiles and thank yous and someone else being inspired to pay it forward.
You cannot expect anything, not even good behavior, in return. There is no reward for kindness.
This means when you let the priest pull out in front of you and he doesn’t even give you so much as a fucking courtesy wave, you do not get to ram into him and crush his car into oblivion, religious bumper stickers and all. You can only fantasize about that. You can, however, scream sarcastically at your steering wheel about the AMAZING GRATITUDE AND HUMILITY of your local clergy. You can hope you see his face in the dunk tank at the festival… WHAT? It’s for a good cause!
When you hold the door for a lady with a baby carrier, she may well huff and puff in your face like it took you too long to help her. If you slam the next door in her face you may or may not end up on the 5 o’clock news, but if you can smile broadly as you hold the next door while also telling her “Have a great day!” then you have been truly kind. If you just can’t stop yourself, you can tell her to have a blessed day, but I’m yet to become so enlightened myself.
You can always pray for these people. That’s kind.
But remember — Shouting “I’ll pray for you!” at their backs is not kind.
I enjoy being kind. It feels good.
Sometimes being kind backfires in a way that leaves you feeling like the air has been sucked from your chest and your heart is a stone.
I told you, it’s a risk.
And sometimes, well, sometimes it’s just too damned hard to be kind.
Like, I ain’t helpin nobody move. And my babysittin anyone in a diaper days are over. And there is absolutely no way I am going to offer you my last soda. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.
But you know, Have a nice day.
Be is for LindaGHill’s SoCS and B is for A-Z