I was inspired to write this post after witnessing both an unkind act followed shortly by an act of kindness. Let me explain. Four days ago, I was at a Pacers game while visiting family and friend in Indianapolis. My dad took my kids and me to see the game. My 10-year-old daughter loves basketball. She absolutely loved it! I grew up watching the Pacers and attending games since I was a teen. It always evokes good feelings in me to go downtown to the arena to watch the game. It’s exciting! Basketball is a fun game to watch.
So, there I was thouroughly enjoying myself, when tiny parachutes began dropping down from the arena ceiling. They slowly floated down to the crowd below. Well, one parachute floated directly to my daughter. As she lifted her hand up, and I lifted my hand to help if needed, a woman from behind us snatched away the parachute (while smirking at me). Seriously! Okay, so a grown woman had snatched a parachute that had a children’s coloring book attached to it from my child. I was livid inside. It was the opposite of kind. It bothered me to my core.
Shortly after, tee shirts were being tossed into the crowd. Yes, there is a lot of engagement going on with the crowd at these Pacers games, haha! It’s fun.
I witnessed one man that caught himself a tee shirt, after he had leaped across a walkway for one. As quickly as he had caught it, he then reached it out for a nearby child to grab from his hand (who was clearly a stranger to him). Yes! Kindness! Faith in humanity restored!
I believe kindness is important. Kind gestures are important. I’m not always kind when I should be, but it is certainly something I aspire to be.
Displaying a kind attitude can be challenging. We don’t feel well, we’re impatient, we’re overworked, we’re hungry. We all have bad days. I get it.
Suck. It. Up.
Get over yourself and just be nice. As the wise and oh-so-clever singer/songwriter Ani Difranco says, “suck it up… and just be nice.”
Being kind feels good, right?. It makes other people feel good. A smile, kind words, a kind gesture. It almost sounds old-fashioned! Well you call me old school, but I believe in kindness even towards strangers. Holding the door open for the person behind you is a huge one for me. It’s common courtesy, but it’s also a simple act of kindness.
Even a small act of kindness can change people. It can stick with someone all day. It can impact someone more than you know.
I love inspiring words, maybe you do too. Here are 5 of my favorite quotes related to kindness:
The last two quotes are both from The Dalai Lama. Such an amazing Buddhist monk. I had the honor of watching/hearing him speak in a concert venue several years ago. We would all do well to reflect on his wisdom, on his emphasis of kindness, more often.