Tuesday, November 25, 2008


This entry is two-fold . . . as you'll see if you keep reading. If you stop reading, you'll never understand the two-fold nature of this entry.

Here's the two-fold (actually, two questions) part: Why are people surprised by an act of kindness? Are people afraid of showing kindness (and/or compassion) toward others?

Here's the deal: I was brought up to treat people respectfully, to hold open doors, for women, men, children, whatever, to say thank you, no thank you, you're welcome, yes sir, no sir, yes ma'am, no ma'am, and all the other little kindness that demonstrate - at least in my opinion - the greater potentials of humanity. What surprises me, is that people are often surprised by these small kindnesses. Why? Has society spiraled so far toward chaos that kindness, whether among friends or strangers, is no longer recognized? Has humanity begun a backwards descent towards the neanderthal days? Will acts of kindness soon no longer exist?

I have no answers to those questions. I only know that, more and more, people seemed surprised by signs of kindness, and/or respect.

Now, to my second question (the two-fold nature of this post since the two questions, in many ways, are extreme polar opposites of each other): Are people afraid of showing kindness (and/or compassion) toward others? It seems to me that people would rather act rudely toward each other, than kindly. How difficult is it to hold a door open for someone or to say thank you? How much effort goes into a smile? A kind word? A kind gesture. If someone holds a door open for you, would it kill you (yes, major generalization, get over it) to say "thanks"? Is your face going to break if you smile? Now I understand, the Botox Queens cannot smile or show any facial expression at all, but what's stopping the rest of the world? Why are people afraid to make eye contact? Whew!! Sorry, that took a lot out of me. I guess I'm just confused by the whole surprise toward kindness I have been witnessing lately.

There is no price for kindness, only the reward (if you can get it) of a thanks or a smile, or a coke and smile for that matter. I'm just saying . . .