Yesterday I was at Brooks Rehab, and I saw an older man using a walker headed for the very heavy front door to leave the building. I opened the door for him and made sure he was okay the rest of the way. He thanked me with a big smile and a look that said he was surprised at my gesture. If I read his message correctly, I'm not surprised that he was surprised. Over the years I've noticed changes in the way people treat each other, and consideration for others seems to be fading away.
Because of this observation, I look for those times when people are considerate, and I acknowledge this behavior. When a store employee is especially helpful, I ask their name and find the store manager to report this kindness. Every single time I do this, the manager seems pleased, but surprised, to hear something other than a complaint. And I have a warm feeling inside.
I don't know if it's really true, but it seems like there are more rude people running around today than in the past. Of course, we can always say, remember the good old days, but maybe our memories are just distorted. Or maybe not. I really don't remember other drivers tailgating my car and honking because I'm only going 3 miles over the speed limit, and that's not fast enough for them. Or trying to reach something on a high shelf in the grocery store while others just walk by pushing their buggies past me. Or someone going out a door just in front of me and letting the door slam in my face. When I open a door for someone and they just walk through without any acknowledgment at all, I say you're welcome loud enough so I know they hear me. Then they either say thank you or look at me like I'm a crazy person. Well, I don't mind being a crazy person.
Are these people just preoccupied.? Or is there a dire emergency somewhere that they have to get to in a hurry? It doesn't seem rational that so many people are headed for one. Individually, they don't upset me. But as a trend, it saddens me. They're missing out on the good feeling inside that comes from helping another person and seeing them smile in appreciation.
Some people may never experience such a feeling. But everything is energy, so if more of us practice being kindness people and look for kindness in others, maybe some of it will rub off on those who don't know how to be kind--or forgot how to do that. Think about it as you look for ways to help someone who needs you, even in a small way.
I wish you joy in your heart.