Does anyone remember that old chicken soup joke? A lady goes to the doctor to get help for a terrible cold. After checking all her vital signs and going over her medications, the doctor asks her if she has ever tried homemade chicken soup for a cold.
“Chicken soup?” she asked. “How would that help my cold?”
The doctor shrugged and said, “it couldn’t hurt.”
This made me think of other things that couldn’t hurt.
Example: there you are, with the Sunday paper in hand, and the $2.50 to pay for it all ready to go. All you want to do is to go home to your bacon and eggs and coffee, and slowly and luxuriously read the paper from cover to cover.
But ahead of you in line is one of those folks who not only have a ton of stuff to pay for, but they must haggle over a coupon offered at the last minute for <insert piddly little item here>. The cashier has to start all over again, ring everything up again, while the person questions him about her store savings card and does this coupon count toward her points, yadda, yadda, yadda.
You have a choice: 1) stand behind this person, sighing audibly and shifting from one foot to the other, raising your $2.50 up so that the cashier can see how easy it would be to just let you go already.
Or 2) take a deep breath, take a look outside the window to see that the sun is shining brightly over rapidly melting snow. Think of how much better those eggs and bacon will taste when you get home with your paper.
When the cashier throws you an apologetic smile, smile back. It’s an act of kindness to that harried cashier, the ditzy customer with all the questions—but most of all it’s an act of kindness to yourself.
There are so many more truly important things in life that demand our attention. Standing in line with a newspaper just isn’t one of them. Kindness counts, and even if no one acknowledges it or even sees it, it makes YOU feel better. Your blood pressure doesn’t rise, your thoughts don’t turn to murder, and best of all, you took the high road, which is never a bad thing.
Kindness–hey, it couldn’t hurt!