“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino, The Greatest Miracle in the World
I truly believe in this quote by Of Mandino. Have you ever had a mediocre day, minding your own business and out of nowhere, a stranger is kind to you. Whether it be a nice gesture, a smile, kind words or a lent hand, someone you don’t know has gone out of their way to be kind to you. How do you feel? AMAZING! (Well at least I know I do!) For a moment, when something like this happens to me, just for a moment, I feel at ease, my heart feels warmer and I smile. How awesome is that? And all it took was someone extending me kindness that took all but a few seconds out of their day.
I try to do this with strangers (and obviously friends and acquaintances) as much as possible. Last week I took a cab to the airport. Actually, it was election day and I was exhausted, anxious and a mix of many other emotions had taken over my brain. As we rode along the highway at 5 in the morning the driver struck up a conversation with me about where I was going which led to a conversation about my job. As we got closer to the airport he said, “I know this is a business trip, and they probably give you a credit card to use, but if at all possible you could pay with cash today I would greatly appreciate it. My rent is due and we don’t get paid for credit cards for a bit. If not I completely understand.” I said okay and we continued on in light conversation about his family and my work. I thought to myself, ‘the only cash I have on me is what this ride will cost. What if I need it later?’ And then I thought, ‘If I need more I can go to an ATM, this man seems so sincere and has been so kind to me, he needs it more than I do.’ I handed him the cash as we pulled up to the terminal and a smile took over his entire face, “You have NO idea what this means to me. You just made my entire day! Thank you so much!” Then he got out of his cab, carried all of my luggage inside the terminal doors (which no one ever does) and gave me a huge smile and a wave, thanking me again, as I walked inside. Now, just THAT, that simple act of kindness, did forever change my life. It’s in moments like this that I realize how alike we all are and how we all just want to be appreciated, understood and respected.
Don’t wait for people to be kind to you, show them how!
Give it a shot!