By Bruce Starr, The Luvcoach
Sometimes you learn the simplest, most powerful lessons in life under the most ritual and mundane circumstances. For instance, five days a week, I get up to get my daughter Kenia ready to go off to school. This morning I asked her, as usual, what she wanted for breakfast. I asked if she wanted cereal or oatmeal? She said, "Either....oatmeal... or cereal."
Her response left me cold. It took a few days for me to realize that the correct and kind response was to say, “I will have cereal, Dad, thanks!”
Or, “I will have oatmeal, Dad, thanks!”
When I asked her to please respond that way, she said she would and did so from that point forward.
It wasn’t that I was being overly demanding of her, I just knew it made me feel better that if I had to get up earlier than I would like, I would like her to show me that she appreciated my effort. The way she could do that was to respond in a more positive way. I also told her when people were asking her opinion when she got older, responding in a positive fashion would make the person feel better about asking.
CHOOSING THE KIND PATH
I explained to Kenia that if she could just choose the “kind” path or response, people would be not only willing be kind to her in return, they would remember how good she made them feel. They would be there to assist her in the future if they knew they would feel good again.
I explained to Kenia that even though what we were talking about seemed small and unimportant, it was very important to get into the practice of being kind. I then went on to tell her that as she got older, being kind to everyone she met would make an incredible difference in her life.
KINDNESS IN ACTION
That very same morning as we were walking to the school bus stop, we passed a security gate that the guard has to electronically open after we rang the bell. As we approached the gate, a man was coming through the gate and let the gate close instead of holding the gate open for us. He passed right by us with his head down. We were surprised by his untypical (most people are kind enough to hold the gate open if we were not too far from the gate) and insensitive action.
I looked at my daughter and said, “Isn’t that interesting.”
She said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “What just happened is a perfect example of what we were talking about this morning. Let me describe the two scenarios. On one hand, the man did not hold the door for us. He put his head down as he walked by us and had no interaction with us. He may have even felt bad about not holding the door open for us as he quickly moved on.”
“Here is what could have happened instead,” I continued. “When he came through the door and saw us coming, he could have waited three or four seconds and held the door open for us. He might have said, 'Good morning,' which would bring a sure smile to his face as he said it. Our faces would have lit up by the kindness of another stranger greeting us.”
I continued, “We would have said good morning and gone out of our way to verbally thank him for being kind enough to wait the few extra seconds it took us to get to the gate. Kenia, you would have smiled at him and said thank you and the three of our spirits would have been uplifted instantly by this five second encounter with another person.”
I then said to her, “Do you see the difference a short act of kindness can make to not only you but to another person who in this instance was a stranger?”
Kenia said, “Yes, I can. I guess it does feel good to be kind.”
KINDNESS ELEVATES THE SPIRIT
Moments later, another man on his way to work walked by just as he did each and every work day. For the first several months this happened, this kind looking man would walk by without raising his head. Then one day, I decided to say hello to him. When I did, his face lit up. He called out energetically, “Good morning! Have a great day!”
From that day onward, we both enthusiastically said hello to each other and every morning, knowing how it elevated our day. Sometimes he is a few seconds to a few minutes late in getting to our spot and sometimes we are a few seconds to a few minutes late. When our paths do cross, we always remark, “Hey, you are a few seconds late,” or “It looks like we are late today,” with each encounter ending in a big smile on all of our faces. He always then calls out, “Have a great day!” and I say, “The very same to you!”
HOW DOES KINDNESS IMPACT YOUR LIFE?
Do you think little things like that makes a difference? This past week, my daughter stayed home from school for three days because she had a cold. When we got back on our morning schedule of walking to school, the first thing this man remarked was, “Hey, where were you guys? I missed you!”
Sometimes, the slightest act of kindness can make all the difference in the world, in your day or in another person’s day. Imagine how different your life experiences could be if you initiated positive experiences in your day by small acts of kindness.
I know, not everyone is going to be kind or respond to your kind act but don’t let that bother you. Focus on how good it made you feel to be kind. Remind yourself that if the other person was feeling better about himself, he would no doubt want to extend kindness to others. By wishing that person well who doesn’t open that door, you will quickly recover from his not so positive response.
The Power of Kind is sure and dramatic! Let it work in your life. Just try it for one short day. See if it makes a difference. Then ask yourself, if this is all I have to do to have a better day, why not do it everyday? Put a few weeks or months of positive experiences together and see how your life turns around for the better.
The LUVCOACH Bruce Starr has been on a 44 year self-study on several different philosophies on life, having many of the top experts on love and relationships as his teachers and mentors. He is an internationally known speaker, television and radio talk show host and producer. He has written four books, the most recent tentatively called a "Luvcoach’s Guide to Teenage Dating and Relationships." He is currently hosting The LUVCOACH Bruce Starr Facebook Live Video Shows and will soon have three-day Executive Dating Weekends at exotic resorts around the world! for more information visit, theopenheartmovement.com