On Kindness

I fear that we have become a “me first and the hell with the rest of you” nation. It seems that kindness is getting pretty thin on the ground, and that’s a real shame. I recently read an article about people who recline their seats all the way back on airplanes with no regard for the comfort (and safety) of the person behind them. They don’t even bother to look behind them when they recline.

The person behind the recliner may have a laptop or a cup of coffee on their tray, and so on. Would it hurt to just ask the person behind if it’s ok to recline? We know that, unless you pay for first class seats, you are going to be somewhat uncomfortable. But there’s no need to be selfish and just plop your seat back so that you are comfortable—at the expense of the person behind you.

Then there are the drivers who realize that they are either on the wrong road, or they’ve passed by the store they meant to go to, and so on. In their minds, they think it’s completely fine and dandy to make dangerous moves while driving, such as running through two traffic lanes to get to where they want to go. It’s a risky thing to do and can be quite dangerous. So when you are driving and make a wrong turn by mistake, DO NOT flub up traffic trying to scoot over to another lane. Doing this could cause an accident. Just man up, take a safe turn and get out of traffic; it’s not like a few more minutes of your time is going to kill you. However, doing risky things can kill you or innocent others.

I would hate to see the death of kindness. However, I still believe that many, many people are kind and compassionate. I still believe that kindness still exists. I still believe that, in spite of all appearances, people are basically good. My granddaughters have given me hope and joy in the way that they treat their parents, their friends and each other, and us, their grandparents. They want to help others, they are kind to animals (living on a farm as they do, they love and care for every creature from yaks to chickens), and they believe in the power of goodness.

I still believe that kindness exists. It would be nice to see more of it, but still—kindness is still there. And it can come from unexpected people or places, too. Just yesterday the Crankee Yankee and I drove up to Wolfeboro (NH) to tag the stuff in our storage unit; what to keep and what to auction off. After that, we drove into town and visited the cemetery where my grandparents and parents rest.

I had asked the funeral director who buried my parents when my dad’s military footstone would be placed quite a while ago. But yesterday, there it was. And of course I burst into tears. Just at that time, an older lady drove up (I found out later that she was looking for her own father’s headstone). The lady saw me crying and said, ‘no crying, now; it’s all right.’

And you know what? She was right. Another act of kindness!




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