Kindness The Meaning Of Humanity

We get to make the choice. A quick read on why it's better to choose kindness. 06.14.24

photo of punk rocker being kind to an old woman

Nobody Wants To Help An *sshole

Let’s take a hypothetical situation: Your name is Ron. It’s been a long day, and everything that could have possibly gone wrong has. And on top of all of that, now you have to sit on the phone for forty minutes, explaining to a customer service rep your problem. How you had a flight home but it got cancelled due to a storm. And how now you’re stuck in New York City for another expensive unforeseen night that you can’t afford. You’re tired, overworked, and just want to get home to your bed. You’re frustrated that there isn’t a snap-solution in which you walk to a different terminal, and immediately board a new flight. It's downright unacceptable. That fuse you refer to as your patience, has officially run out.

The representative runs some searches and all they can find is a flight home tomorrow night. You get triggered and start to scream into the phone, as if this person has any kind of control over the current flight schedule from NYC to Chicago. “What do you mean tomorrow night?! Aren’t you listening to a word I'm saying?! I need to get home!!”

News Flash: The World Doesn't Revolve Around You

At this very moment, your problem lies at the center of the universe. The world is revolving around you and your needs. But much to your surprise, it’s actually not. And to be honest, nobody really gives two sh*ts about your problems, because they have problems of their own. That representative on the other line is stuck in some meaningless, minimum wage job that probably as hard as it is to believe, is more insufferable than your current situation.

homeless man asking for human kindness The cherry on top of their pie is you: the frustrated, tired, and ready to go home *sshole on the phone, whose ignorantly screaming at them how this is all their fault when it’s not. It’s not their fault at all. Because they didn’t do anything wrong. They’re just trying to get through the day like everyone else. And for them, that means answering calls from people like you.

You’re thinking: How could they possible not have an immediate solution? You need a solution right now! I need to be home in my bed! I’ve already made plans with my new Netflix show! But the funny thing is, even if they did have the power to help you, to snap into place an answer, they probably wouldn’t do it anyways. Why? Because you are the living and breathing definition of an *sshole right now, and nobody wants to help an *sshole.

We Don't Know What Others Are Dealing With

We know nothing of the people we come across in our day to day lives. No idea of what they themselves are going through. Maybe their car broke down on the way to work and they barely have enough money in their checkings account to cover this month’s rent and bills. They have been feeling stressed and hopeless day in and day out. And now they have to deal with you being a total d*ck on top of that. You forget that they too are human and have their own life and issues.

Being cognizant of our surroundings and emotions, and tuning into other people’s situation is the key to getting things to go our way. I truly believe that kindness is reciprocated. If we want things working for us, then the answer is starting to treat people with a little more kindness and respect. We all have to deal with life’s crummy situations.

The Scenario Of You Choosing Kindness Instead

Much the opposite, instead of being an absolute piece of work, what if instead you are polite. You say please and thank you, and let the person on the other end of the line know how much you deeply appreciate any help they can give, because without them, you’d really be screwed right now. Without them you don’t know what you’d do. Which is the truth. By validating their helpfulness you can bring a little light into their day. Maybe make their crappy job feel like it really does hold some worth, because they are helping make your crummy day a little bit better too.

Doesn’t this seem more like a win win situation? You get the help you need and the representative get’s to feel a little better about their job they hate. Even if they can’t get you on an immediate flight, I’ve had countless situations where they will at the very least, be willing to try and pull some strings to get you better situated.

photo of a woman being kind giving to a homeless person

Final Thoughts And Reflections

We can’t control what life throws at us. Every day is a crapshoot. Just yesterday I rode my bike to a gig here in Chicago. I had it locked up for three hours in front of the Adler Planetarium, an area with heavy foot traffic. I walked out to find only my bike frame left. Someone had stolen everything else off of it. I’ve lived in this city for over fifteen years and have never had this happen to me. I can’t control the situations life puts me in. All I can do is react. Accepting my current situation and not letting it control me was my choice, my decision. We get to decide how we are going to behave in the face of conflict. Am I going to get angry and have it ruin my day? No. What’s the point in that? What will that change? Yes it sucks, but that’s life. I've been learning to let go.

photo of bike frame after having pieces stolen from it while it was locked up I reached out to someone on Facebook Marketplace about buying their wheel set. I offered him a lot less than he was asking, and explained a little bit of my situation. He replied that he couldn’t sell the wheels for that price, but after talking a bit, he may have an extra set that’s still in good shape just less desirable. I could just have them for free. He told me he understands how it feels, because he too had been in that same situation before. We're all human and in this battle together. We all have our good days and our bad days. We all have to deal with crappy situations. Submit to being human and treating others with kindness and things will be better for you. Why? Because noone likes an *sshole and a smile can go a long way.

I'm going to leave on something I've taken from my mom. She has taught me the art of kindness and since has been a reminder of it's importance. My mom is a notoriously generous tipper. For those who have been in the service industry, you know that twenty percent and you're stoked on that tip. She has this philosophy of why not really make their day though? Choose an act of kindness, even if it's a stranger, strictly because it's spreading love and positivity.

I have worked in the service industry so I get it, you really do have to deal with some tough people. They have a special way of testing your breaking point in ways you've never even imagined. Expectations that are impossible to meet and being blamed for things that aren't your fault are typical. After a long day of being on my feet and trying to please everyone, an extra ten dollars on a tip was enough to make it feel worthwhile. It's not necessarily the money itself, rather the fact that someone chose to be that nice. It's more than the money. So why not? That ten dollars will probably be burned on something stupid anyways right? Choosing to make a small financial sacrifice to better somebody elses day is powerful. We all have that power, and we get to choose what to do with it.

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