Quote of the day

Susan Cain

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Where did common courtesy go?

smile-2928326_1920There are a lot of wonderful and kind people out there. But there seems to be an increasing number of selfish and discourteous people too. I’ve been cut off while driving, knocked into without apology, and received rude comments to my face. And that’s just a normal day. Common courtesy is fading as quickly as common sense. And I get it. The world is a scary place. Things are getting worse and you don’t know who to trust. Bad days happen. But it’s becoming the rule, rather than the exception.

Nowadays, people engage more with their phones than with people. Look around a busy restaurant or coffee shop and you see this immediately. I’m guilty of this too. A lot of people don’t know how to interact with other human beings. They’d rather push past and shoot you a dirty look than say excuse me. Respect for others is decreasing. What happened to treating others the way you want to be treated?

I love common courtesies. They’re the things that help society run a little smoother. Saying please and thank you. Smiling. Apologizing if you bump into someone. Holding the door for someone behind you. Especially if they have their arms full of groceries. Leaving a nice tip. Giving a sincere compliment. Wishing someone a good day. Even the smallest of gestures can make a big impact on the one receiving it. I wanted to share an interesting quote I found.

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.
-Anonymous

So that’s my goal. Work on becoming a kinder person despite the negativity. If it brightens another’s day, it’s worth it.

How is your day going?

Choosing kindness

grupoI watched a YouTube video several months ago that really made an impression on me. Its called ‘Why Not Choose Kindness‘ by Tessa Violet. I wanted to share a few of her thoughts here, as they really connected with me.

In college, I had several classmates who would brag about being brutally/cruelly honest. They truly believed that being careless of other’s feelings, while stating the truth, was an acceptable way to behave. They justified it by saying ‘I’m just being honest, its not my fault they took it the wrong way’. But honesty doesn’t equal cruelty. I’m not trying to belittle those who may be struggling with this, but rather I hope this may encourage others to think about how their words affect others. I’ve said cruel things before, its not something I’m proud of, but these mistakes continue to motivate me to be a kinder person.

Perhaps you have to inform a co-worker about an error they made. You can make them feel inferior by harshly pointing out their mistake, or you can approach it with kindness. You can gently explain their error, making sure to compliment something they’ve done right as well. They may still become defensive (we can’t control the actions or reactions of others), but you’ve done your part to approach the situation positively. Honesty is incredibly important, but its our choice whether to be cruel or kind about it.

Kindness doesn’t have to be a grandiose gesture either. It can be a smile across the room. A kind comment for the stressed-out cashier who is taking your order. It can be holding the door open for the person behind you, or opening the door for someone who has their arms full. It can be paying it forward by buying someone’s coffee, or writing a thank you note. Simply being attentive when someone is talking is kind. Obviously, no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. But we have the ability to apologize if we’ve said something in error.

Tessa asks the question: ‘what kind of world do you want to live in?’. I want to live in a supportive society where empathy and mutual respect guides interpersonal relations. So why not choose kindness?

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Image credit: “Grupo” by Danilo Urbina is licensed under CC by 2.0

The Respect Award

respectI recently received a nomination for the Respect Award from the wonderful Warrior Freya. I know my response is quite late, but I really do appreciate the nomination. It means so much to me that others enjoy what I write. If I hadn’t already been nominated by Warrior Freya, she would have been on my list too 😉

According to the write-up, this award is given to bloggers who:

“Consistently reach out to other bloggers, offer support, are understanding of the differences in people, and who treat themselves and others with kindness and respect.”

There don’t appear to be any rules, so I’ll go ahead and list a few nominees. This isn’t a comprehensive list and there are many others who qualify. As always, please don’t feel obligated to accept if you aren’t comfortable doing so. I merely think that awards like these are a great way of showing recognition for all the support, empathy, and kindness shown by those in the blogging world. My nominees are below:

Insanity Bytes

Authentically Aurora

Quiet in a world of chaos

INFJ Ramblings

Found in France

Butterfly Reflections

desk nest shelf

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Random acts of kindness

OrchidsSomething happened yesterday at work. Something positive.

The majority of my job involves working with clients. I had been in contact with one of our clients by email and phone over the past week or so. They had been very appreciative of the work done on our end. Yesterday afternoon, flowers were delivered to me at the office. It was a thank you gift from that same client. It was a wonderful surprise that totally made my day. The picture on the left is of the lovely gift I received.

But not all acts of kindness have to involve flowers or gifts. When I was in elementary school, we had a random acts of kindness (RAK) week. It was a time to think about what you could do for others. It could be something as simple as opening the door for someone, or lending a friend your notes if they missed a class. But once I got to junior high, we no longer had the RAK week. And it was a shame, because kindness is something that should be shared all the time. Some think that kindness has to be extravagant and over the top. But that’s not true. Taking time to show others that you care about them doesn’t require money, gifts, or grandiose gestures. Even a smile can brighten someone’s day.

What are some kind things you’ve seen or done?