I’ve been thinking about Kindness lately. Being nice to people. An idea not as simple for us humans as it sounds.
I recently happened to read some interesting blog posts by one Miss Zoot, whose blog I found through Daily Buzz Moms, and really enjoyed reading this post about not being mean to other people. It struck a chord with me. Miss Zoot (a.k.a. Kim) is a person who tries her best to be nice (although we all mess up these kinds of goals occasionally). She also becomes uncomfortable when people profit from mocking others – she believes that making other people laugh (or read your blog or whatever) is not a good enough reason to be mean to someone.
This is something I can agree with. I’ve been trying to think back and figure out if I ever blog at other people’s expense. I’d like to think not, since I am also a person who tries to be nice, but I don’t know for sure. I once blogged about Ann Coulter and wasn’t very nice; I’ve written letters to Prime Minister Stephen Harper (one upon his majority election and one related to his omnibus bill) in which my ire got the better of my politeness.
In my defense, I don’t write these kinds of posts for their comedic value. I write them when I get angry at someone – usually someone who appears to lack kindness. I realize that my tendency is to write with compassion that is satirical, but contains a grain of sincerity that I hope my readers detect – because, after all, when people seem to suck… there’s usually a reason, and often a profound one.
On a lighter note, this morning I got out of the house for an hour-and-a-half’s jaunt about town (during the baby’s nap) in which I witnessed two acts of kindness I consider remarkable. Not random acts of kindness; kindness when a stranger needs it – but hasn’t asked for it.
On my way from the farmer’s market, there was a woman on the other side of the road who tripped on the sidewalk and fell, with all her market purchases. I was just looking to see if it was safe to jaywalk when I noticed another person crossing the street to come to this woman’s aid. She was apparently unhurt (physically), and the other woman helped her gather her things and get up again, respectfully, to avoid embarrassment. I was so glad to see that; sometimes people just ignore these situations and look the other way, but not today.
Then I was in a Tim Horton’s, in line behind two girls I would judge to be about twelve or thirteen years old. One was getting her toonie (two-dollar coin for the Yanks) out of her pocket and dropped it. She bent down to retrieve it and realized that it had fallen between the cracks of the slush grate and disappeared. She and her friend laughed a little, but you could tell she was upset; a toonie is worth considerably more when you’re twelve. And she just wanted a warm beverage. After a minute or two, realizing this girl had no more money, the guy in front of them in line simply gave her a toonie, saying, “That’s some harsh luck, there.” And for the record, he did not look like the kind of guy you expect to do such a nice thing. He wasn’t smiley or grandfatherly or anything; just kind.
After that, I thought to myself, Two lovely acts of kindness at just the right moments! I’m going to provide the next one.
Funnily enough, it’s not as easy as you’d think to find those great moments. Unless you count opening doors for people or letting them pull out in front of you in the parking lot. I’d like to say that when I bought Girl Guide Cookies from the poor, shivering young girls outside the market, it was an act of kindness… but they’re so delicious, I know it was really just hankering on my part.
I guess this will be a work-in-progress.
P.S. Here are some better pics of the dragon-fairy costume, taken while E was helping me make pancakes the day before Halloween.