This’ll be a short one, but hopefully it perks up your day as it did mine.
It can be easy to get bogged down in negativity. I’m especially prone to this for a bevy of reasons I won’t go into here, but for me, when it rains it pours. I start generating the negative self talk for whatever reason, and then I get trapped in a cycle of seeing nothing but ugliness, pettiness, rudeness, bad citizenship, and egregious lack of courtesy. When you’re in a mood like this, you see what you want to see. And when I’m down, I seek the negative. Hard.
I’m not currently in one of these phases, but when I am, I have to remind myself that it’s amazing how beautiful the world can be if you’re open to it. That’s as broad a statement as I’m going to make here because I don’t want this to turn into some boring, platitudinous, vaguely inspirational piece of claptrap that uninteresting people bombard you with on Facebook; rather, I want to share a very small story of common kindness that made my day. Maybe reading about it will make yours.
Yesterday, with gorgeous weather embracing the city for the first time in what felt like forever, Kristin off tending to a real estate client, and me assuming full parental duties for the afternoon, I took the baby for a walk in her jogging stroller through my neighborhood of Park Hill.
As I walked down one of the sidewalks, I noticed a man with a big commercial-size lawnmower working on someone’s property. It was a bagless mower, and the clippings blew out the side. Timing it in my head, I realized I would pass by him right as the clippings blew on the sidewalk, and, as a result, all over my baby. I began to make a move to cross to the other side of the street to avoid this when the man running the mower looked up at me.
He saw my intent, caught my gaze, stopped in his tracks, and shut down his mower until I passed. I waved at him, said “Thank you!” and he took his right hand off the mower, waved it kindly at me and smiled. He waited until I was well past the yard, and then fired up the mower once again.
He didn’t have to do that, and truthfully, it wouldn’t have been a huge deal to walk across the street, but he did, and he made me feel good. It was a random, small act of courtesy, and if we’re open to those moments, they happen more often than we think.
May your day be filled small courtesies and random acts of kindness. Both given and received.