On the way to work last week I was leaving my local coffee shop, and a woman in front of me let the door slam back in my face with no care in the world. She was focused on her phone, and didn’t look back to see what had happened. My first reaction was anger, but then I thought to myself, how many times have I done the same? Have I ever been too involved in my emails or lost in Snapchat messages that I forgot there was a world around me? Have I ever been so excited to get to lunch with a friend that I didn’t indicate, and ended up cutting someone else off on the motorway? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
This experience made me think. It was a good reminder that life is not always about me, how busy I think I am, or what I am personally focused on. Instead, be aware of others, and just be kind. Simple as that. It can be the smallest of things; opening the door for the person behind you, saying thank you to the person who is bagging your groceries, saying ‘no thanks’ to a cold call rather than ‘piss off’!, or taking the time to congratulate a colleague on their work success.
So, as we come up to the end of another year, with our feet pushed firmly on the gas pedal speeding towards our Christmas break, I recommend you take time to be kind, and show compassion to others. I’m sure you can agree that the world needs a little bit more kindness. Why not start with a few of these:
- Hold the door open for the person behind you
- Express gratitude to anyone who has done something for you, big or small
- Be polite even if you aren’t interested. Yes, this includes cold calls!
- Celebrate the people around you; work colleagues, your loved ones and also, yourself
- Listen to others to hear what they have to say, rather than just to reply
- Let people ahead of you in the queue, particularly if they look stressed or anxious
- Put your phone away and interact with the people around you
- Give a hug to someone who needs it
- Sincerely compliment someone every day
- Be kinder to yourself by embarking on a self-care crusade
Always remember to throw kindness around you like confetti; everyone is fighting their own battle. It takes all of two seconds to compliment someone, but you’ll never know how much that small acknowledgment may brighten their day or how long it will stick with them!