Contagious Kindness

Artemis & Leto, Artemis and Leto, kindness, optimism

I do not go around with a huge, maniacal grin on my face; I have troubles, too. However, I do my very best to smile at my neighbors.

We’ve all got life’s troubles to deal with. No, life is not one big party. I read the news headlines and know people feel the world is “going to hell in a hand basket.” Sure, we’re probably all doomed and what’s the damned use anyway, fighting the incredible negativity in the world right now.

And I’m no Pollyanna, but I do my very best to smile at my neighbors and say a cheery “hello.” I do not go around with a huge, maniacal grin on my face, but the majority of my neighbors are elderly, and most of them, unfortunately, don’t get visits from relatives. My smile is welcomed and always returned. Sometimes a smile is all it takes to brighten a person’s day. Sounds cliche, but it’s very often true.

And what about that clerk or salesperson behind the counter who has a grumpy expression on his or her face? Maybe they’ve been standing on their feet for eight hours (or more!) and they’re feeling defeated and drained. When I smile and show an interest in how they’re doing, most of the time I get a smile back and some pleasant chit-chat. Being polite and nice did not cost me anything, and may at least help someone to not thing everyone in the world is an asshole all the time.

My Mom was a very wise woman in so many ways. She taught us kids to remember that there are so many people in the world who have far worse troubles than we do. And giving a genuine, caring smile or a sincere “how are you today?” can do wonders for someone having a rough day. Kindness can be contagious.

[Editor’s Note: My Mom doesn’t mention it here, but my Grandma (and all her children, my Mom included) had a very difficult and too-often violent life. So my Grandma’s (and my Mom’s) ability to be empathetic toward others borders on the miraculous. One could not blame them for growing bitter and jaded in such a world.]  

Together, let’s age boldly,

Bernadette

Ever wonder why my Mom is writing this blog? Read her first Writing the Digital Page article: “A Baby Boomer Blogging Adventure

Feature Image Credit: Free-Photos

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