Monday, July 26, 2010

Small Acts of Kindness

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." -Aesop

We have all heard the saying "no good dead goes unpunished" and trust me I have been in many situations which has led me to sometimes believe this myself. However, I feel that there are very little random acts of kindness happening everyday. I am assuming this because every time I do something nice, people look at me like I am a crazy person. For example: on a late night run to CVS I was walking down the aisle when I noticed a lady struggling to balance her various products that were stacked on top of one another like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. As she turned the corner I saw her eyeball the stack of baskets near me. I immediately saw the sense of relief confusion in her eyes. She was trying to figure out how she could continue her balancing act while also getting a hand free to grab a basket. I snatched up a basket and said "Do you want one of these?" She replied in a breathless, gasping sigh and managed to say "YES". I held the basket while she dumped her merchandise into it while thanking me about a million times. "No problem, really" I kept reassuring her because it really took about two seconds out of my time and really wasn't a problem at all. Astonishingly, she kept thanking me. The way this lady thanked me you may have thought I slipped her $100 bill or offered up my kidney to her. I think random acts of kindness are so non-existent these days that people are really taken back when they receive it.
Common courtisy and simple good manners are a thing of a past. Rarely is door held for you or a seat on a train offered up. Certainly no one is offering to carry my bags or open a door. Never mind that I go ahead of them line with my one item to purchase and them with a carriage full. Even when I am paying for a service like an oil change or buying a coffee I hardly ever hear a "thank you" or a "have a good day". What is going on in society? And more importantly what can we do to change it? The best we can do is to continue to be nice because when you do good you feel good, and who doesn't like to feel good?

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