Today, let’s focus on human kindness.
The world could use a little more of it, I think.
After work today I went to the grocery store. Normally, I hate those self-check machines, but I had one easy-to-scan item and I didn’t feel up to any human contact.
Apparently, the nonhuman scanner machine has a motion detector. It felt my presence…
- Welcome. Do you have a Super Saver Card?
- Please scan your Super Saver Card now.
- Are you still there?
- Thank you for scanning your Super Saver Card.
- Please scan the first item.
- Seven. Ninety. Nine.
- Please scan the next item.
- Order complete.
- Do you have any coupons?
- If yes, scan your coupons now.
- Select your method of payment.
- Please wait for an attendant.
Augh!!! Had I gone through the check isle with an actual human clerk, there would have been less conversation. I usually get the same clerk and she doesn’t say much more than hello and reminds me when my gas perk points are going to expire. I don’t strike up conversation either. Not with the clerk. Not with the other people in line. Not with the bagger. I’m usually too absorbed in my own thoughts and frustrated that the gas perk points are going to expire before my tank is empty.
Throughout each day, many of us exchange no more than just a few words between lots of different people. Grocery clerks, doormen, bank tellers, ticket takers, security guards, parking lot attendants, restaurant servers, bus drivers, maintenance men, and more. And when we do, we’re usually so self-absorbed with our own thoughts that they become…
dare I say it…nonhuman.
How is it that we can so easily shed our skin of kindness and ignore, or even be outright rude, to the “them” we interact with every day? Is it an easy, no-consequences, I’ll never see that person again situation where we can just let rudeness rip? I see so many people do it…and I have to wonder…why?
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle.
How different would the world be if we approached every one of our human interactions with kindness? What if we approached every person we met with compassion? What if we took just a moment to realize that a few kind words, or a sincere smile, or just a little eye contact, could make a big, positive impact in the day of a complete stranger.
Okay, so I’m giving us homework. The next time you are in the company of a grocery clerk, or a mailman, or a waiter..or anyone else that is typically treated as a nonhuman in their area of service…say “thank you,” while looking them straight in the eye and thinking to yourself…
“You are a person to me. In this brief moment in both of our lives…it mattered.”
Report back. Let me know what happened.