Where is kindness going?

Kindness and common courtesy, are they being lost?  I seem to find less and less of it in my daily life.  From the common curtesy of a man holding a door open for a woman, to a younger person giving up their seat on an airport shuttle to an older person.  Often, I am left to open a door for myself as the strapping young man ahead of me leaves it to close in my face.  Recently while traveling my seat was offered to someone older than me while someone many decades younger sat comfortably, absorbed in their phone, oblivious to their surroundings. And what’s up with checkout clerks? They seem to smile less, of course all we can see is their eyes, so maybe their smile just isn’t big enough to shine through.  

The combination of the social distance drum beating a background mantra as the latest digital device magnetizes our minds is allowing our base nature to be more acceptably prominent.  Kindness is a choice.  The distractions of today seem to be causing the ability and desire to be kind to slowly slip away. 

What might happen if each of us realized we are not the center of the universe, it is far more vast than our little minds can imagine, we are not separate from the universe we are a speck of dust contained in it, and we are not permanent, our time as we exist today is limited. What might happen if we went out today and treated each person we dealt with as if they were our brother or sister?  And even if they are behaving like they aren’t, we pretend that they’re just confused, and treat them like they are any way.  What if we insist through our mannerisms and our tone that we see each person we interact with in their highest self, their best self?  What if, just for today we decided to be kind, instead of right? How might doing these things change us?

Maybe it’s my age, but I miss those good ole days, when people were compelled to be polite and kind, even if they didn’t feel like it.   

E.A. Fussell

04.29.2021

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