Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Goal of Kindness, Smiles, and a Slurpee.

--by snowflake66, posted Oct 10, 2007
Last week I decided I would choose one thing to be kind about and really focus on achieving that goal. That goal was to allow anyone who wished to, go ahead of me -- putting others' needs first before my own, no matter what.

And let me tell you, this was not easy. Especially driving :) But true to my word I let others go before myself.  Drivers who needed to merge were, with a smile and a wave, allowed in front of me (much to the distress of the people behind me  -- so I guess I didn't really make their day).

In the supermarket I smiled genuinely as I asked the women behind me if they would like to go ahead, getting looks that ranged from sheer astonishment to harried gratitude to those that made me feel they were thinking I was a few sandwiches short of a picnic! But still I persisted.

And no, it was not easy. Yes, I know, I said that already! But it wasn't. But you know what it was? An epiphany. Each and every small courtesy brought some reaction, mostly positive and mostly grateful. I was thanked, hugged, smiled at more times than I can count, and even 'bought' a small Slurpee by a woman I opened the door for at 7-11. It was amazing, educational, frustrating, and beautiful. To me, it is what gives life meaning :)
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Readers Comments

Thaata wrote: In these times of hard pressed for time, it is really hard to let others take priority but if you really love others and are kind in heart it is possible. Thanks for telling your story powerfully.
Ruth wrote: What a great idea! And of course any time we do something for someone else it is a sacrifice but well worth the effort.

Thanks for sharing!
elspeth wrote: To laptopnurse - i'm guessing that you are a middleaged white woman, as am i. I haven't generally had the same experiences as you in traffic - most people wave, a very few do not, and i try not to obsess about it. In more personal face to face encounters, though, i have noticed that if i open a door or step aside for a young person, i get no acknowledgement at all - i don't know if they consider it completely beneath their dignity to acknowledge me, let along thank me - or if they have never been taught to be courteous, or never bothered to learn. On the other hand, some people's frank gratitude is completely humbling - i once gave up my place in a grocery line to a woman, and then she insisted, absolutely insisted on giving me a dollar in return; she didn't speak english, i gathered, and didn't look like she could spare the dollar, either, but she kept pressing it into my hand. An experience like erases the irksomeness of some people's blank indifference to one's tiny courtesies. Wishing you well.
madhur wrote: Very nice idea, involves sacrifice, worth trying. I would work on it too.
laptopnurse wrote: I have tried to do this throughout my life. When I let someone in traffic, I find most white folks will wave a thank you, most black folks don't , and never a young black male.
I have let people in line in front of me if they have less or seem in a rush. If I am not thanked, I will say "your welcome" to let them know that a courtesy was given to them and the minimal human acknowledgement is a TY. Am I wrong?
falsemonkeypuzzl wrote: Setting a goal for the day, like you did, makes a lot of sense. It helps to focus us and helps us follow through!. Thanks for the idea. I'll do the same!
katlampi wrote: I would imagine the reactions vary from gratitude and excitement to shock and disbelief. It is a nice surprise when strangers go out of their way for us with no "strings" attached. Thank you for sharing this. You are a person that I hope to model myself after.
walkingraven wrote: how funny that doing something nice like letting people go ahead is "hard". But that is what this is all about taking the time and being aware doing something for others. Great example for us to try! Thanks!!!
denim1951 wrote: This story was very special and I am grateful to read something so great. Your a blessing for everyone around you for sure. I agree we should sacrifici a little of ourselves once in awhile.
God bless you very much.
Shirley wrote: I love your story because you admit how hard it was, (maybe you had to fight your first instincts) but you showed us how much joy and happiness resulted from those efforts.

Thanks for giving us all a push to do a little sacrificing of our own.

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