A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way.

I’ve been wondering for awhile now why people in the service industry always seem to really like me.  Valet people, security people, the mail people at work, the regulars at my regular starbucks, etc.  I don’t feel like I go out of my way to do anything for these people, I just try to a nice, friendly human being.  Apparently that’s hard to come by these days, because saying hi and smiling at the front desk person seems to make a world of difference.  I guess they are used to busy, careless people who are all “it’s your JOB to XYZ, there is no reason to smile or be grateful or thankful or nice to you.  And if you even dare to take longer than 5 seconds doing anything, I will make you wish you were never born.”

(Now, in the interest of full disclosure, secretly, when people take a really long time, deep down I scream like there is no tomorrow.  But then I realize (1) actually screaming won’t accomplish anything; (2) 95% of the time it is not that person’s fault so it’s not fair to take my rage out on them; and (3) they already get screamed at by other people so why not try something different and just be nice?  Instead I just vent to my mom later ;-))

And this last week I was hurrying to my car when I passed the manager of one of my regular starbucks (I know, sad that I have more than one).  I was stressed out and ticked off and generally mad at the world and everything in it.  And when she saw me she was like, “Michelle! Hi! Wow, you look like you’ve lost weight!”  Excuse my superficiality here, but that just made my week.  I’ve been feeling like a major fatty lately (what with my two meals of poptarts diet and all), and to hear someone say I look like I’ve lost weight was amazing.  Probably means I am hallucinating and I am not in fact the 300 pound woman I picture myself to be sometimes. 

I finished my commute home feeling so much happier about life.  And what was it?  One little smile and a compliment.  A coffee shop worker took two seconds out of her time to say something nice to this overworked lawyer, and it made my week.  

It has inspired me to get back to something I used to do back in high school.  I would send handwritten notes on a regular basis to friends, just an out-of-the-blue hello hoping to brighten their day with a little snail mail.  And once per month, I tried to do something REALLY nice for someone.   Not for any reason other than to just be nice.  Because a little niceness?  Goes a long way in this often harsh world of everyone running about their own business.   So I’m going to start trying to do nice things for people again.  To think about others, to stop having this little pity party for my overworked self all of the time.   And, despite the compliment above, still going to lay off the poptarts and cookies for awhile ;-).


2 thoughts on “A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way.

  1. yay! This made me smile

    I try to smile and people and sometimes ask if they want a high five and just give them one. A friend has an interesting way of tithing – he gives time away to help others rather than money and this has led to a lot of happy situations.

  2. I never understand why people don’t always smile or say thank you to others that are helping them (whether those people are being paid to do so or not)! I find that people at restaurants, coffee shops, everywhere almost always recognize me, sometimes months later even if I’ve only been to the place once. Partly that might be because I have a unique face or something but I think it’s also because I make an effort to be friendly. A smile goes a long way!

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