It seems like kindness is a scarce commodity in today’s world. I have seen an insane amount of rudeness come in all shapes and sizes, and surprisingly, people seem unapologetic about how rude they’re being. In such a deep sea of negativity and hostility, there are shining beacons of light. These people are good to the core, and it brightens up everything around them. I love this kind of person, the kind of person that is inherently good-natured without being overbearing or too proud of their kindness.
Last week, a young man came into my cafe two days in a row, ordered his coffee and sat down to read. After a while, he came back up and asked us to do him a favor. The first day, he gave us a $20 bill and asked if we would buy the next person’s drink and split the rest as a tip between myself and the other girl working. We did, and I thanked him later. All he did was nod and smile. He did the same the next day with a $10 bill. It is such a small gesture, but his humble attitude and unexpected actions really made a difference in how my weekend went.
Today, it was my last day working in the cafe that I’ve worked at for over two years. I’ve been with the company for over three years, and so today was very bittersweet. I was on a short break, and a coworker of mine asked how I was doing. I let her know how I would be done in the cafe after my shift, and how sad I felt. She came back with, “Christina, everyone will miss you. No one will forget about you. You have so much joy in you.” She made me honestly think about how we talk about others. Why don’t we describe other people by their joy, their infectious laugh, or their gentleness?
When I think about small acts of kindness, and I’m sure when others do as well, they think of monetary donations, or paying it forward in the drive-thru at Starbucks. However, I strongly believe that we should think of the kindness that is within people, not just when they’re being praised for it. The man who bought those drinks for random strangers didn’t do it to be noticed, no one even knew who bought their drink, we just told them it was on the house. The coworker who told me about joy was doing it to comfort a friend, not to be seen as a “good person.”
It’s most important to be kind when you’re not being watched. This weekend was long, stressful, and hard. These two examples of kindness changed everything. It seems like being a jerk is the cool thing to do, but trust me, it’s not. If you have the opportunity to be kind, to show someone you care about them as a person, take it. It’ll make all the difference in the world.