Kindness isn’t always easy but the results make it worth the effort. Returning the hello we get from passersby isn’t showing kindness; going out of our way to say hello to someone we don’t care for… that’s more like it. Even better, extending our hand to someone we’re pretty sure doesn’t like us–maybe even a person who hurt us–that’s what I’m talking about.
But doesn’t that make me a doormat? No, it doesn’t and here’s why. When we go out of our way to treat everyone the same, we free ourselves to show up with authenticity. Take a moment to think of two or three words that describe you. Are you thoughtful, outgoing, and friendly? Maybe you’re curious and open to new ideas. Or would your friends say you’re all about empathy, caring, and warmth? Whatever your qualities, they make you the beautiful, unique being that you are. Your character comes from the inside and is not dependent on your surroundings–unless you’re giving up control over who you are to the people around you.
So getting back to those workboots, what’s the worst thing that can happen if your extended hand is met with a cold stare? Unless we fuel the drama by reliving it over and over in our minds, it has no power beyond a fleeting moment in time. Who knows–your simple gesture of kindness could be well received and make a difference in two lives.