I told the following story to a group of young people. My cofacilitator prompted it, but I’m glad I told it.
I stopped at the grocery store before work one morning. If I’m late, I don’t think anyone would notice, but I still am usually on time. Yet I get stressed out if I have to stop at the store first because they only have one cashier at this time.
At the checkout, I’m third in line, this big gruff guy (I am a gruff big guy sans intimidation) is in front of me and a woman is checking out. I see that she is separating out some groceries. Some to be paid for with food stamps and the others with cash. As you could guess, I made a judgement. Beyond just angry that her transaction takes longer.
Then she comes up short with the money. Like two dollars short. Now I was silently pissed, but I think, oh yeah, this guy is going to give her the business. Say something I only wish I could say.
Instead, he simply hands the cashier the two dollars. Gives a nod.
I am blown away. This act of kindness made me see how quickly the world can be different. The woman gets out of a sticky situation and gets to feel the kindness of a stranger.
For a measly two dollars, that guy got to feel deservedly proud. He got to teach me a lesson. Be gentle and put it to action.
That woman deserved kindness because we all do. I judged her, but I had no idea what her life is. To believe that could not happen to me is arrogant.
If you want people to change and improve, then the answer is kindness. Because it works and retribution and causing pain does not .
Because it is better for yourself. Not choosing kindness will eat away at you and lead to more anger.
I had one perspective. I could easily have had a different one- that gruff guy’s. Its obvious who had the better morning.