Sure, we all know that Christmas is the season of giving and being kind to one another, but a simple workplace encounter illustrates the value of this concept all year long.
As I was working recently I was struck by a thought that left me pondering for days the concept of kindness and the idea of going the extra mile.
While completing my closing routine at Best Buy, where I work part-time after school, a woman was looking around in my department and by most standards seemed to have it all together.
She was dressed to the nines and had a very pleasant face, but there was discomfort in her eyes and I could tell she had not had the day she planned on having when she woke up that morning.
She was a middle-aged African American woman, probably in her mid-50s, and when I came around the corner to the section she was in I gave a simple, “Are you doing well today ma’am?”
Her eyes lit up and a soft smile crept on to her face.
She spoke in a tender aged voice and gave nothing more than, “I am doing just fine baby. Thank you for asking.”
Now I can’t explain to you the way her voice carried those words to me, but they were soft and gentle and they told me that she was happy to know that someone cared enough to ask how she was doing.
I left work that night with this woman on my mind and the thought that if words as simple as the words I gave to her can make someone’s day then why is it so hard for people to show compassion and sincerity all the time?
A simple smile or a sincere hello can turn a bad day around. If we, as a society, could show more compassion to one another every day we could live in a better world.
“As a society, we appear to have lost the instinct for kindness and the willingness to extend the hand of friendship,” Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, wrote in a post to the Guardian. “Our responses to children, to older people, to strangers, are all conditioned by a concern not to offend and a fear of getting involved.”
The post I found by Unwin furthered the idea that we need to do more as a society to reach out to those in need and to those who may not be having a good day.
The next time you are passing a stranger, simply give a smile or a caring, “Hello,” and make it a point to bring kindness and compassion back to people around you because after all it is the season.