I’ve been thinking about kindness a lot lately, specifically random acts of kindness and also just kindness in general. It literally costs nothing to be kind, and I think a lot of people forget that.
I am guilty of forgetting I can be kind. I know it sounds silly, but sometimes when the opportunity presents itself to me, I forget that I can do certain things. For instance, I often forget I can pay for the person behind me in a drive-thru when I have the extra cash on me. When I lived in Murfreesboro, I used to love going to Dunkin’ Donuts. One morning, I ordered a coffee and a donut and when I got to the window, they told me the person in front of me paid for mine.
I was so shocked by the sweet gesture. So shocked in fact that I didn’t know what to do. They handed me my order and I said, “Am I good to go?” Then I left. It didn’t occur to me until I got home that I could have paid for the person behind me and kept it going. Oops. It did make my day, though. It’s a shame I didn’t think to pass it on.
I went through the Hardee’s drive-thru one morning and had someone pull in behind me who looked absolutely thrilled. I was wondering why this person looked so familiar when I got a phone call. It was one of my coworkers from the shoe store. She thought it was so funny that she ended up behind me and just wanted to call and let me know. When I got to the window, it hit me that I could pay for her breakfast. So I did. To return the favor, she cooked me a shepherd’s pie.
Kindness doesn’t always have to be shown in the form of gifts or money. Sometimes just showing you care or offering a compliment can go a long way. Telling someone to have a nice day or asking how they are is also nice. It is not that hard to put in a little effort. It is literally the bare minimum.
Sometimes people send us thank-you cards here and it really does brighten our day. A lot of the time we don’t get a lot of thanks from people, and we don’t do our jobs to be thanked, but every now and then it is nice to know someone liked what we did. Someone sent me an email the other day just telling me they enjoyed my column and thanked me for sharing my opinion in a town full of people who disagree with me. I really appreciated that they took the time to reach out.
Going forward, I would like to try and be kinder. No, I’m not always going to pay for the person behind me in a drive-thru or compliment everyone I see, but I would like to make more of an effort. Simply telling someone they are appreciated or offering to help when you know they might need a hand can go a long way as well. I feel like we often forget to tell people they are important and appreciated and I would like to do a better job remembering to do that.
Standard reporter Bethany Porter can be reached at (931) 473-2191.