An act of kindness can make the world that much better

Photo by BluEyedA73
Photo by BluEyedA73

We waste most of our days  buying clothes for another day, working toward goals we never fully realize. Everything is a means to an elusive end, everything is to make a plan for things that will inevitably be rocked off course anyway. We do not schedule finding the loves of our lives. We don’t anticipate the day we’re going to die. We don’t know these things won’t happen tomorrow or today, we just assume. You won’t remember the days, you’ll remember a few moments within the days. The more you’re focused on a hypothetical someday, the more you’ll miss.

People aren’t always going to be perfect. We are going to have bad days and might even take it out on our loved ones. We’re going to send other people frowns and follow the car in front of us too closely. However, we need to love one another anyway. We’re vulnerable to bad moments, to bad days, and to bad weeks, it is inevitable. We are vulnerable to prejudice, hatred, and bullying. We may be strong enough to work past these vulnerabilities — to not give in to our downfalls. But we’re people. We’re human.  A bad moment turns into a bad hour. A bad hour turns into a bad day. Lastly, a bad day turns into a bad week. It’s cyclical. It continues. Unless, that is, something breaks the chain. A smile, a reassuring text message, a tight bear hug to remind us that the world is still full of comfort—all chain breakers. Small, subtle and instantaneous. You decide how much that is by how present you choose to be.

You don’t know that while you’re choosing to stare at your feet wondering and worrying about another issue that will fix itself in a little bit anyway, you’re missing the person who just crossed your literal (and metaphorical) path. You don’t if this moment is your last moment. You don’t know that this afternoon is the first time you make a tiny change that spirals into a revolution.

The point is, if you don’t do it today, you won’t do it ever. The point is that the things you most want can and should begin right now. So long as your mindset is “wait for tomorrow,” tomorrow will never come. Things do not get better or worse, your ability to perceive them a certain way does or doesn’t.

Small gestures can have a big impact. We shouldn’t be surprised when another human is kind or empathetic toward us. We should all have higher standards for ourselves. Maybe we can follow that lead and pass it forward more often. Hold a door open for someone. It doesn’t matter who they are. Open the door for them. Buy someone a cold beverage. If someone drops something, pick it up for them. Send someone a card or letter in the mail. Listen if someone is talking to you. We all do it, we space off. We stare at our phones while someone is trying to share something important with us. Let’s try to look them in the eye and truly hear what they are saying.

Let someone over in traffic. People are sometimes terrible and we are all filled with rage. However, letting one car over when they have their turn signal on would be a great deed. Try to think of at least one nice thing about each person you know instead of focusing on the bad. Most of the time, we zero in on the faults of people and their annoying habits. We gossip. We judge. We lose our patience. We build resentment. We should let our anger go instead. We should encourage. Be grateful. Say thank you a lot. That’s all. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes— the oldest rule in the book. I don’t care if this sounds like a list for kindergartners. Adults probably need to be reminded of these more than kids.

We are born one day; we die one day. We meet the loves of our lives in one day. We can completely change someone’s life in one day, and we can do that by being kind to the other people on this planet.