Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Kindness doesn't cost

These are such crazy-busy days for so many people. I understand how easily tempers can fray. Most people have to-do lists that are longer than a roomful of wallpaper. Money probably is running short as is time. The peace and goodwill of which we speak can sometimes be in short supply.

Recently I was in the grocery checkout line when the woman ahead of me lit into the grocery bagger with all the ferocity of a mother lion defending her cub—and all simply because she didn't like the way he was combining things in her bags. She said offensive things about his bagging ability and treated him like a child. I just cringed when I heard her spiel. She rendered the whole scene toxic, and several of us looked at each other and shook our heads. We were embarrassed by her behavior.

When I got up to the bagger, I said, "I hope you will just shake that all off. It wasn't about you. No one should treat another human like that. Just don't let that toxic stuff get inside you. Don't carry it home." He said, "I know. I try not to do that." But I could tell he appreciated the fact that I noticed and spoke a kind word to him.

What small things can you do today to just brighten someone's day or lighten their load? Sometimes all it takes is a smile. Or a kind word. Or just letting someone cross the street even if you do have the right of way. Opening the door for someone who is loaded down with bags. Friendly conversation with the salespeople and clerks in stores makes their long days more pleasant. It doesn't cost you a thing but it can really make that checkout person forget her tired feet!

Let's check our attitudes and see whether kindness can't be a habit—not just in this season but all year long.

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