Would You Be So Kind?

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Summary:

Griping and grousing seem to be so prevalent these days. For that reason, I've been gratified to read several articles and blogs recently that commented on the positive impact of kindness and encouraged readers to do their share. I second that.

Griping and grousing seem to be so prevalent these days. For that reason, I've been gratified to read several articles and blogs recently that commented on the positive impact of kindness and encouraged readers to do their share. I second that.

I had my own a-ha about the impact of kindness yesterday. I had just paid for my purchases at a big box store. On my way out, a cashier I passed at another station gave me a huge smile and wished me a nice day. Maybe she was a naturally pleasant person. Maybe the store had encouraged everyone to greet customers on their way out. Whatever the impetus, there was something about her expression and her comment that stopped me.

I went to her and said, "You know, it's because of people like you [which might have sounded as if I were about to accuse her of some misdeed, except that she saw that I was smiling as I said it] that I like to come into this store." She seemed utterly surprised and thanked me. I told her, "Really, it's so nice to be treated this way. It feels good to know that when I come here, I will be greeted like this. It's people like you who make a difference."

She said, "You've made my day." And she was beaming. I mean, really really beaming.

Now, I didn't say what I said with the intention of making her day. My comment was totally spontaneous. But I got to thinking about how I've felt when someone mentioned something I said or did and made my day. A simple unexpected comment can transform an otherwise ordinary day into one that feels special. Making someone's day is no small thing, yet all it takes is a simple kindness.

What a powerful thing kindness is. And how good it feels to be on the giving end. Kindness doesn't need a time or a place. You can extend a kindness at work, at home, or anywhere else; in these stressful times, what a difference that would make.

The thing is that I know this and I know that I know this. But I keep forgetting. So I'm writing this blog post as a public reminder to myself to offer kindnesses regularly and deliberately. I encourage you to do the same. And I hope that one day I'll have a chance to make your day.

User Comments

1 comment
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

Thanks for posting this. It's a good reminder that small differences in the way we approach life's small events can make a big difference in life's larger events as well. A good, simple story.

December 2, 2009 - 11:10pm

About the author

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten

Naomi Karten is a highly experienced speaker and seminar leader who draws from her psychology and IT backgrounds to help organizations improve customer satisfaction, manage change, and strengthen teamwork. She has delivered seminars and keynotes to more than 100,000 people internationally. Naomi's newest books are Presentation Skills for Technical Professionals and Changing How You Manage and Communicate Change. Her other books and ebooks include Managing Expectations, Communication Gaps and How to Close Them, and How to Survive, Excel and Advance as an Introvert. Readers have described her newsletter, Perceptions & Realities, as lively, informative, and a breath of fresh air. She is a regular columnist for StickyMinds.com. When not working, Naomi's passion is skiing deep powder. Contact her at naomi@nkarten.com or via her Web site, www.nkarten.com.

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