No Noise, Just Nice
The temperature in our culture at the moment is filled with noise, clutter, non-sense and a feeling of entitlement to say and behave however we’d like. Rudeness, intrusion, confrontation, battering, disruption, negative attitudes, no respect, no regard for morale values, a liquid language that has no filter and bulldozer-like posture. Social graces have become a lost art. Kindness is an after-thought. Simple gestures with a warmth outreach are nowhere to be found.
I’m not one to ever talk about politics, religion or any other sensitive or controversial topics. And, this is not about that. This post is about getting back to the basics of community rooted in togetherness.
A couple of weeks ago, I was in my car stopped at a stop light. It was a sunny, warm and beautiful day in Pittsburgh. The fall weather was setting in like a perfect Indian Summer day. The air around me was so crisp and fresh. I was thoroughly in my own zone. Living life. Taking in the moment and just listening to some Justin Timberlake. I was preparing for his upcoming concert and was having my own karaoke session. Before I knew it, I heard this blaring car horn behind me. When I looked in my rear-view mirror I was faced with a very angry man in a jacked-up truck swearing profanities at me. I don’t believe I was doing anything offensive to him. I was merely sitting at a red light minding my own business. I’m not quite sure what was going through this young man’s head. I just knew he was filled with anger and was taking it out on me. As I was thrown back into the world’s temperature, I was startled and saddened by the behavior.
A few days later, I was pumping gas and an older gentleman (and I say he was a “gentleman” for sure) approached me and gave me a compliment. We struck-up a really sweet conversation. It was easy, breezy, light-hearted and sincere. As we continued our mid-morning chat, this gentleman thanked me at least four times for taking the time to just talk with him. He went onto say I made an older-man’s day by giving him a few minutes of my time. He continued on to say, “you don’t meet people like you anymore. People that are just nice.” He asked me to wait a minute as he went to his car to share an article with me. The article was the most recent edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His wife, of over 50 years, was featured for her work. This man was so endearing as he shared the sweet story about his wife and the amount of love she has shared and given to him over their lives. As we parted ways, he said to me “Wow, what a wonderful person you are” and thanked me for making his day. And, I thanked him in return. We parted by carrying kindness forward.
I thought back to the profanity driven young man wishing that all of us could live this type of existence. The ability to lead with your heart and lean into every gesture starts with a kindness-first approach to life. Plain and simple. Each one of us has the opportunity to make a difference. If I could be so bold as to ask…own your part in the movement. Take a stand and be an individual that makes a difference in the lives of others.