seriously where did it go, cause I don’t see it anymore…
I remember back when I was a child people seemed much kinder. Was that really the way it was or is it all in my imagination? Were they really nicer then? Where did it go? Why are people so self absorbed that they don’t even notice you walking by them?
People would say hello and tip their hat to each other…of course if you didn’t have a hat you couldn’t do that…but you know what I mean. If you were going in a place of business and someone was coming out, you didn’t even have to bother getting the door. There was always some kind soul to hold it for you. It most likely didn’t even get acknowledged, because it was the rule and just expected. If you were driving and coming off a ramp people would pull over to allow you onto the highway. Now you are lucky if you don’t get run off the side of the road trying to merge into traffic. And by any chance you manage to get on the road, you will most likely be greeted by a horn blasting at you or the much loved middle finger salute.
Gone are the days of people caring about others..it is everyone out for themselves. Now it’s all about “me”… I have given this a lot of thought and have tried to figure it out. It has gotten continually worse and I know some blame it on the current administration, but in my book it started way before that. Having worked retail or with the public, I always enjoyed watching people and how they interact and react to situations and other people. And I must say that over my many years dealing with them, the consumer has gotten a bit nasty. Some more than a bit! It is as if the “common” retail worker is beneath them and they hold some kind of contempt for anyone working “behind a counter.” Is it their way of “getting back” at someone else for the way they have been treated..or not treated?
“Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give.” ~ Unknown
I have often thought it would be interesting, (if not dangerous) to take one of these people who have been mean or run you off the road aside and asked them what made them do this… Would they even be aware they did it? When you look at them, really look at them, they look totally distracted. Many are on their phones…talking, texting. Some of them have kids in the car or walking along side of them and they are doing the same thing. Are we really that busy and distracted these days that we are totally unaware we are hurting someone’s feelings? Do we care? What has happened to us? Why are we so mean? Where did the kindness go?
I know if you notice something and focus on it you will see more of that..so I try to focus on the good things I see. I really do. There just are not a whole lot of “good things” happening these days. However having said that, if I do see someone doing something good or being kind…I try to let the person I see doing it, know that I saw it and thank them. You would be amazed how they light up and smile! I was recently going into a store and wasn’t even close to the door yet. A young man came out, saw me, stopped and waited until I got there…. and then he held the door open for me. I turned toward him as I walked through the door and told him what a wonderful young man he was and thanked him. His face lit up and he smiled the biggest smile and thanked me back. I think his day was made as was mine! It doesn’t take much to be kind…
So if being kind isn’t hard… why don’t we do it more often? What are we afraid of? Maybe if we start noticing people doing good things and being kind…and we acknowledge them doing it, we will start a movement. Honestly, it could happen! I try to find something good everyday…even if it is something so small no one else would even notice it. I post a “good story” on my Facebook page each and every day. Some days it takes me hours to find one, but I do! There is still good and kindness in this world, we just need to see it, and acknowledge it. And pay it forward when it happens. And if we don’t see the good, we need to be the good!
Spread a little kindness today!
“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most wonderful underrated agent of human change.” ~ Bob Kerrey
22 thoughts on “What Happened To Kindness??”
I love your quotes and this one is classic–we can all afford to be kind! Thanks for the reminder that sometimes we need to practice kindness for it to be returned to us. Great blog, as always!
Thank you Cheri! And you are one of the kindest people I know….
I firmly believe 24 hour news is one of the worst things. It’s reported to death. No wonder we’re so depressed. And….why am I supposed to thank the clerk who waits on me?????? Now THAT irritates me. Most people we pass say hi.
I don’t even watch the news anymore…and I never expected my customers to thank me…you must have nicer people around where you go…most do not here…
The world has many afflictions today. Let us infect the world with kindness. It is a condition that can be contagious and who knows how far it will spread. We all know that there are people in this world who are centered on their own priorities but I believe they are matched and even exceeded by those who give of themselves to help others. I believe that the problem is that the news and social media focus on what is negative but that creates interest and vivid commentary. Those that are positive tend to slip by the wayside but in their wake we all benefit from their actions. Kindness, I believe, begins at home from a person’s heart. It is this phenomenon that gives us hope and places a smile on our faces even when clouds interrupt our usual sunny dispositions.
Well said Andy! Definitely the media has a lot to do with all the negativity…so I will continue to try and find kindness and good!
I’m still living in the age of “do unto others as you’d have others do unto you”. Sadly, that just doesn’t work, we seem to be living in the age of entitlement. For those of us who truly do want a kinder gentler society it gets more and more difficult to see it as possible.
Yes, Karen, it does get harder and harder to follow the “Golden Rule”..but we must…and we need to help others “get” it!
This is my abiding principle, Renee! And most of the time, showing a little kindness and consideration reaps great results. A smile. A brightened countenance. (Is countenance a word?)
My mother’s favourite saying was : It’s nice to be important. But it’s more important to be nice! She did it. I try to do it. I see my kids do it. And now my grandkids. Mom’s legacy will go on!
Diane, I’m sure you do it, just from reading your poems about family, etc..I know you sow kindness wherever you go! Thank you!
Exactly Renee, paying it forward with a small kindness goes a long way!
So very true Haralee!
I love that you post something about kindness on your Facebook page every day. That way, you are always looking out for it and your followers get to share in that. Wonderful! I do think there’s a lot more of it out there, though, than social media displays. Often the kind acts are the ones more hidden and gracing the edges of a crowd.
Thank you Julie! I think you are right, there is more out there than we ever see..and I try to find it!
You’re right in that we need to be the ones to be kind first. Yesterday I went into my bank and on my way out, I saw a policeman in uniform standing near the entrance. I thanked him for his service, and while he said thank you and treated his being there as just his job, I could tell by the way he continued to look at me… He probably didn’t hear that often. Brenda
Basic civility is becoming an increasingly rare commodity. We’re divided, distracted, and misdirected, more connected than we’rve ever been and yet more disconnected than we’ve ever been. People are not present anymore. But, I find, that engaging strangers in conversation, holding doors, offering help, and practicing random kindness does have impact. Kindness counts.
We’ve…not we’rve! Typos!
You are so right Margot…we are more connected yet very disconnected and divided…Thank you for your comments!
While I don’t remember ever seeing “hat-tipping” except in the movies (was that a real thing?), I think people are a lot less courteous today–maybe not exactly the same as being kind. There is a higher tolerance for rudeness. Growing up, my parents, like many other, emphasized manners–teachers, too. “Manners are a kindness you give others.” Who even uses that word today? In my experience, though, kindness is still out there; you just have to sift through a lot more weeds before finding its flowers.
I must be a lot older than you Evelyn, cause I remember the hat tipping thing..my Grandfathers always wore hats and they tipped them when another person would walk by…you are right, kindness is still out there…hope we can find more of it sooner rather than later!
I’m totally in agreement with ya kiddo. Maybe us old (now don’t take that jn a bad way)😁 folks just were brought up different.. Have to agree that todays electronic stigmas do not help. I’m bad but not that BAD. Peoples minds are all kvdr the place. See so much hatred and nastiness everywhere its disgusting. I try to JUST smile and fhat pisses them off more i THINK. I hold doors and honestly i get doors held for me all the time and always give a smiling WELL THANK YOU. Then they smile too. Play it forward right?.
I think we were Susie! And you are right, don’t think the electronics help!