You don’t need to know a name, date of birth, or occupation and it doesn’t take a big commitment. It can be a gesture as small and simple as a smile, holding the door open, or allowing that car into your lane of traffic. It’s about looking into the cashier’s eyes when they hand you back your change in the supermarket line. It’s about saying Good Morning every day to the security guard at work who never looks up but then one day, returns with his own, Good Morning.
It’s about helping someone who is lost find their way back to familiar surroundings by letting them follow you in their car. It’s about remembering that there are actual people behind the phone calls and tweets and screen names on Facebook. It’s about calling customer service and instead of giving a complaint, complement the service you just received. It’s about sharing an article or a photo with someone because it reminded you of them.
It’s about not always waiting to be asked. It’s about paying it forward, paying it backward and whatever falls in between. It should not be something we need to remember to do, it should be simply the way we are. It’s something that should not wait for a holiday to show people how we feel.
We are spiritual beings learning to be human. We are human beings learning to be spiritual. We never know what each day will bring or even every hour. My mother-in-law used to say, “It’s nice to be nice.” It doesn’t mean we can’t get angry, but recognizing that the anger should be about the right things—for wrongdoings and injustices, and not to be angry just because something didn’t go our way. Anger is a natural emotion and can be all powerful and used the right way, can move mountains, but so can empathy, love, and joy. It’s about the art of being human.
It’s a balance of recognizing each other’s soul and existence and stepping up and out without having a reason for doing so other than opportunity. It’s about not hiding behind our anonymity of technology or the false strength in our insecurities. It’s also about nonexpectations and about trust. We have no way of knowing where our one act of kindness, our one act of humanness can lead, but just trust that it does.