Aug. 4th, 2013

cybik: (keitele)
I think kindness is my favourite virtue. It's so easy to be kind and yet it can make a huge difference to other people. I worked for the catering company of an arts venue in Farnham for a couple of years while I was at university. There was a regular Thursday night even for which I worked the bar. Most of the people who came to that event were really friendly and there was one couple I particularly remember because they were regulars who did things like bring glasses to the bar at the end of the night - not just from their table, but from others. It was a small and important gesture of kindness that made me feel appreciated and human. Kindness has a humanising effect. It says "you are worth doing this for." Isn't that a beautiful thing? It can turn a terrible day into one that doesn't seem so bad. It can turn an ordinary day into a good one. If someone compliments you it can make you feel good about yourself (of course it's also easy for it to be creepy if done wrong - a lightness of touch is needed for it to be unthreatening. My advice is: you don't have to wait for an answer. Don't make it a question. Just say something like "I like your coat!" and smile and turn away. Don't do it when you first get into a lift (awkwardness can ensue), for example. Do it when you're leaving. The person is not obligated to respond. You shouldn't be trying to get them to make you feel better about yourself for your comment. And don't compliment things like eyes or body or whatever unless you know the person. That's too close for comfort. That's creepy).

Kindness is a gift from one person to another. It doesn't require anything else. Thanks is nice and polite, but don't do something for someone and then, when unthanked, assume that they are the worst person ever. People have bad days. Sometimes we take it out on others. Little acts of kindness can help, even if we don't appreciate them consciously.

I want to be better at kindness. I am trying to make an effort to do little things that make other people's lives a little bit better, even if it's just helping someone pick up something they've dropped.

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