In conjunction with my 30 Days of getting Old, I’ve decided to add in a kind of postscript: 30 Days of Wisdom. From my perspective at least. I figure you can’t live all these years without learning something. So I’ve made a list and here goes:
It would seem to go without saying, but we should remember to BE KIND to others. That person who cut you off in traffic may have a sick child, may have just lost their job, may have just found out he or she has a terminal disease. Their boss may have yelled at them today and they had nowhere to vent, so they decided to take the shortcut home… the one that means they had to cut you off.
That person with the crying child may not be working and the child may be hungry. The person may be in an abusive relationship and may be afraid to discipline the child. The parent may be on the brink of homelessness and dealing with a crying child is last on their list of priorities.
The crabby co-worker may have too much work or feel unappreciated. The store clerk on their cell phone may never have been taught better manners.
Be kind to people who yammer on at you about things you don’t care about. Obviously, it’s important to them. Accept their drama, swallow it up, let it go. Don’t put on a frowny face and look miserable.
I’ve learned what people do to you is no reason for you to lash out at others. BE KIND to those who are crabby, or anxious, or distracted. Some day you’ll need kindness and will appreciate it from others. Working at the church I’ve found that even though things aren’t going well for me and I’m feeling sorry for myself, there are other people worse off than I am. I try to offer them whatever kindness I can in the midst of their problems.
I’m privileged that I’ve had a number of people be kind to me. An old friend who “lent” me money to pay a phone bill (back in the days when “long distance” was expensive) and I was desperate to talk to someone and had no money to do so. A friend who is happy I drive her to Bunco and she always offers to pay for me to play. A church friend who gave me a monetary Christmas gift when I needed it. The friend who cheers for every one of my blog posts in the most encouraging way! Those are physical kindnesses – something tangible. But there are people who give me a smile when I need one, who ask about my mother’s health, who remember my Dad when I post about him on Facebook. These things are more internally kind.
So my first step is to BE KIND to the crabby, traffic-cutter-offer, screaming-child-haver who needs my kindness today. And tomorrow. And all my tomorrows.