“Oh my god I love your coat!” The coat belonged to my hairdresser Jenny and it was a pretty fricken amazing coat if I do say so myself…but those kind words weren’t said by me. We had one of those bump-ins, where you both act like fish out of water. You know what I am talking about…You are used to seeing a person in the same situation time after time and now the scene has changed and it is kind of weird. With Jenny, it is usually me in a black cape looking like a run down bag of shit that she is trying to make look beautiful and human again. Over the last 5 years, we have laughed a lot and exchanged stories of the people in our lives but it doesn’t really go past that. That sunny day in the middle of the brand new sketchers outlet we ran into each other, I was not wearing the black cape and she didn’t have scissors in her hand, top it off with having others alongside each of us and it was kind of the awkward hello’s and how are you’s, while our party stood behind us most likely thinking… HELLO introduce me asshole! I am sure we both stood there thinking should I introduce the person with me or shouldn’t I?… we have all been there! Things were just getting awkward fast, you know pretty much after saying hello…*Crickets*
Then out of nowhere just below our waistlines, this perfect little icebreaker was blurted out to her by my 3-year-old daughter Lily. “Oh my god, I love your coat”…I can still hear our laughter the minute the words left her mouth. Now, this is not out of character for Lily and I do get a lot of comments when she throws out compliments or uses her manners as if she is some kind of rare well-mannered unicorn. As a mother, I have to brag that Lily’s outgoing and kind spirit make me feel pretty proud and that even with all my downfalls I must be doing something right as a mother. But my proudness is not based on the fact that my daughter has used her manners and others have witnessed it #momoftheyear. I am proud of the way she makes people feel…Happy, valuable, warm and fuzzy.
I have always tried my best to do my part in helping us Canadians maintain our reputation of being the nicest people on earth but I am starting to notice that kindness in daily life is fading and sometimes I feel like my unreciprocated kindness leaves me feeling deflated and almost pissed off. Is it that difficult to not look at me like I will be preparing you for a colonoscopy when I smile or wave at you? I know we shouldn’t do things just to expect something in return but I am scared that this may be happening to others out there and slowly people are giving up on kindness because why should they care if no one else does…
Now I am not sure whether kindness is becoming uncool, if we are all just too wrapped up in our own lives that we literally don’t notice those around us or if it is a dying art sort of like knitting. But just as I feel the same about knitting we need to bring kindness back and make it popular again because it is a beautiful life skill and if we don’t pass it down to our offspring it will be forgotten about. We are raising our little people in a time where some people couldn’t be bothered to hold a door open for another human being that is literally 3 steps behind them and that is unacceptable.
I totally admit that we all, myself included have days where our kindness slips to the wayside as we are rushing to get a million things done or maybe we are having a shit day and just couldn’t be bothered to make someone else feel good when we feel like crap. But I really want to be conscious of being kind in the days ahead and I hope that you agree and join me.
The actions listed below are certain to have a favorable outcome and make you feel like a good person if you just give them a try:
- Hold the door open for others, and when others hold it open for you say thank you.
- Next time you are in line with a cart full of items let that person that just walked up with 5 items go ahead of you. This situation always plays out the same, you will offer to let them go ahead and they will most likely say, “no that’s ok”…but you should offer again because they are just trying to be nice and the second time they will most likely say yes and you know what… you will feel good for the rest of the day and so will they.
- Compliment a total stranger if you see something worth complimenting. Compliments are free and they feel good on both the giving and receiving end which can’t be said for many things in life.
- Wave to your neighbors and smile at strangers and hopefully, they will return the gestures back to you.
- Strike up a conversation with someone new. You never know where you might meet your next best friend. One of my best friendships started in the hockey rink of our small town when this crazy gal came up to me and said: “Are you Mallory, Lily’s mom?”
- If you see someone struggling, help them and if you can’t help them at least listen to them. Maybe they are lost and need directions, maybe they just look sad, or maybe it is a mother with a child having a tantrum in the middle of the mall and instead of staring at her and making her feel judged, offer her kind words or just say I remember those days and you got this mama.
- For the love of god if someone waves you into their lane while driving, WAVE BACK! Is it crazy to say this is one of the things I remember most about my dad from my childhood? He always waved when people let him into their lane. He said it was important that we thank them and that the wave was…the roadway THANK YOU!
- Like people’s stuff and share it on Facebook. Now I know you are thinking…ok Mallory get ahold of yourself you are hardly trying to guilt us into sharing your damn blog! O.K…maybe a little…but no really there is so much shit these days on Facebook (political views, cyberbullying, etc.) that brings the mood down. When someone posts something they are proud of, whether it is pictures of their family, a personal accomplishment, their travels, their home based businesses, live videos, whatever it may be, take the time and give it a read, watch, a like and/or a share to let them know you care. I know a lot of people hang out behind the scenes while on Facebook because they don’t like to post but it doesn’t mean you can’t show others you are there and following their lives.
- That grumpy person who was just rude to you…Take Selena Gomez’ advice and kill em with kindness. 2 things could be going on here: Their dog could have just died or something of that sort and they could really use a dose of kindness right now or they could just have a hot poker permanently shoved up their ass and it leads to looking for today’s fight. Don’t bite…instead, slather some kindness on them and see what happens. If nothing else it will be entertaining for you to watch them try to respond.
Our children watch our every move and learn from us so it is important we display basic human decency on the daily. Lily’s little spirit has given me a renewed hope for kindness and for that I am grateful because she has reminded me of the big impacts that small gestures make.
Let’s all take the time to be kind and make others feel important and valuable. So grab some kindness and sprinkle that shit everywhere. Just like glitter it will stick to everything, be impossible to get rid of and make things more enjoyable in general.
Comment below what act of kindness gives you the warm and fuzzies!