There is so much sadness in the world. So much anger. We are fueled by our righteous indignation. It makes us post on social media. Wage wars with people we barely know. It’s easy to go all in on anger. To cherish your wounds more than your cure. And some anger is necessary. We need people to stand up to egregious behavior. Like the school teachers who assign Holocaust projects where Jews are blamed for their victimization. Yes, this happens. Check out Liza Wiemer’s FB page where she talks about these insane things, along with why she wrote the book, The Assignment which talks about just this victimization at the hands of a public school teacher.
But the thing is, there still is kindness. It’s everywhere. It’s in the people who rescue dogs. In the ones that care for the elderly. It’s the fire fighters and the policemen and the teachers and the people who paint houses and water plants. It’s in the person who delivers food to your door. It’s in your neighbors, the ones who sit with you for an hour while you’re having an asthma attack, waiting with you until the breath returns to your lungs. My neighbor specifically.
In a world where we are all exhausted from dealing with uncertain futures and invisible threats, where we have to parse the very information we receive about our environment, our health, and our humanity, kindness is not always easy. But it is always the right choice. Every time.
Last week I was out renewing my driver’s license. Even with an appointment, we had to wait in line for over an hour. The chairs had been removed so everyone was standing, all because of COVID. I noticed an elderly woman who didn’t seem to understand which line to go into. I asked if she was ok and she told me that she was here to pay taxes, did not have an appointment, but just had her hip replaced and was having a hard time standing. I could tell she was trying hard not to cause a problem or make it seem like she was asking for special help, but the thing is, without an appointment, she might have been standing in line for no reason. So the next time the clerk came out, I explained the situation. She immediately took her to the office to pay taxes. All was well. And this happened not because I am specifically a wonderful human. Only because I paid attention. The thing is, people want to be nice. It’s in us. When we are kind, we feel better. Also, everyone around us feels better just for having witnessed it.
This is why when companies are kind via social media or their advertising, we respond. And perhaps that’s why the NFL decided to gift 7,500 tickets to their biggest event-the Super Bowl, to vaccinated medical personnel as a way to thank them for their service. The thing is the NFL may t have simply been looking at this as a big PR promotion. It may just have been good business. But it works. Because we want to believe in kindness. What’s more? We want to witness it. It makes us happy. It makes us hopeful.
Kindness is a choice.
Let’s have more of that.