Gina Barraca, one of my favorite writing teachers, recently wrote an article that struck me as a truism of life that needed to be shared and commented on over and over again. She spoke of beginning her day in a foul mood, and her experiences only got more . miserable as the day wore on.
Gina anticipated going home to serve a mediocre meal that would do little to diminish her irritability. However, as she drove home, her mood miraculously changed thanks to one kind gesture by a stranger.
Driving in the Northeast during rush hour is never pleasant, but it must seem even worse when you are already irritated about…who knows what. Yet, when another driver had the thoughtfulness to invite Gina to merge into traffic in front of him she was shocked into awareness. If you’re not from the Northeast, this might not seem so miraculous, but rest assured, it does to those of us who do drive in the area. This simple act of kindness got her to start thinking about her day, and in fact, changed her whole attitude about how lousy it seemed to have been.
“When I realized that my fundamental perception of the day could pivot both immediately and entirely on the smallest of incidents, I admit to being startled. I was happily surprised, of course, but still … was it really just so easy to feel better after feeling bad?” Suddenly Gina realized that, “Maintaining unhappiness was too much work,” and began to focus on being happy.
Amazing, isn’t it, how such a seemingly small thing can make another person smile and just feel good about life? We can do that for all we we see each day. A smile or a kind gesture or word can sometimes turn another person’s day around and, perhaps, enable that person to do something kind they had not considered five minutes before.
It’s the little things that make life good, and you can do that for your spouse, your neighbor, best friend, child or a total stranger. Who will you make smile today?
Please share your random acts of kindness in the comment section. Tell us how it made you feel. Your thoughts could make the world a better place…and who wouldn’t like that?
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