Be Kind

There’s a peculiar item on my Fire up for Fall list.

1.2 Do one good thing (at least)!

Now, I know what you’re thinking…MJ, you are SUCH a good person already. You volunteer, you donate blood, you hold back snarky comments and say them behind people’s backs (and put them on the internet) instead of to their faces. You’re pretty much a saint.

And, yes, it is true. However, the motive behind this goal – and the reason that it’s a challenge – is because when the opportunity for a random act of kindness, for helping out a stranger, appears, I shy away from it. Quite literally I’m too shy to offer assistance, but either way, I hate that.

Por ejemplo, last week, I saw a big guy trying to load an awkward table into his truck bed and I kept walking.  Now, I considered opening with, “I’m stronger than I look,” but I guess I was afraid he would laugh at me or tell me he had it, but there would really have been no harm in asking. 

I probably shouldn’t have been too pissed (although I totes was!) a few days later when I was trying to load an Ikea box that was to become a desk into my trunk by my itty bitty self and two people watched me from their car as they waited for my spot.  I totally deserved that. 

I don’t think I’m completely alone though. As the hilarious gen y kids v. baby boomer parents Toyota commercials point out, we’re so connected, but we’re not really connected and life is about connecting.  Really connecting.

I think society in general shies away from reaching out to people – holding doors, carrying bags, even just making eye contact and saying hello! Now, maybe it’s the community I live in.  I visited beautiful Coeur d’Alene a few summers ago and the LA-ites I was with actually started mocking the locals and their propensity to say, “hey there,” to anyone and everyone.  That’s an LA attitude for sure, but maybe Idaho knows what’s up.

So, I’m challenging myself to not let whatever social hangups I have stop me from stepping in and doing the right thing.  What’s the worst that could happen?  A stranger I never see again tells me, “no thanks”?  I think I can handle that.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. – Plato


3 thoughts on “Be Kind

  1. It’s so odd sometimes to think how different a culture can be in the same country! I’m from Georgia and I can’t tell you how many ‘hello’s oand ‘how are you’s I get in a day from total strangers! I actually feel out of place in northern states just because the attitude is totally different. I think you’ll do well in this challenge – just rip the bandaid off and go for it!

  2. Pingback: Fire Up For Fall Week 2 « The Next Moment

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