Kindness goes a long way in helping others

Published 8:33 pm Friday, September 20, 2019


Contributing Columnist

Sometimes it seems that there is not enough time in the day to get everything done that we need to do. There always seems to be a chore of some kind that needs to be done or a job to do that just will not wait. When this occurs and something has to go in order to make time for these things to be done, historically, the first thing we usually sacrifice is our own well-being. I have always believed in the concept of take care of business first and personal matters come second. Now that I have entered my fifth decade on this old Earth, I have started to understand that the most important thing is not to take care of business only but also to show kindness along the way. How much effort does it take to show some kindness to someone? I was in a store recently and overheard a woman yelling at the store manager, because the store was out of her brand of soup. Maybe this woman was a really huge fan of soup or maybe she was overreacting to a situation that the store manager could not control. The manager just stood there trying to get a word in, but could not. How do you think this affected the manager and the rest of his day?

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I see this type of behavior often and those that work with the public are unfortunately all too familiar with this behavior. The server that is treated rudely because a mistake was made in the preparation of food, a cashier that has no control over store policy, a phone operator that has no power to rectify your situation all experience a lack of kindness on a daily basis. I have worked in the law enforcement field for almost two decades now. Situations arise daily where people who are in stressful situations try to take it out on me. When I experience times like that, I am often reminded of the classic line from the old 80s movie “Roadhouse,” where Patrick Swayze says, “Just be nice”. Do what you have to do, but be nice about it. Do people think that by yelling at a server they will get their food any quicker? If you are not receiving the service you think is appropriate, then don’t leave a tip, but yelling at someone will accomplish nothing but make someone have a worse day than necessary. One thing we need to remember is that life is short and we need to live each day with happiness and joy as our goals. There is not a situation that we are likely to face today that would warrant treating someone else with anything but kindness. My father told me when I was small that a person’s reputation as being honest and kind was everything, and would take me a long way in the world. I have found that to be very accurate advice. One thing to remember while your being kind is not to forget to be kind to yourself as well. We should never allow another person to treat us badly. However, our response to their actions should not be to yell and be unkind to them, because that does not repair the situation. Each of us are individuals and are unique in that no one else in the world possesses the exact same set of qualities that we possess, so treat yourself accordingly. Go ahead and do what makes you happy and allow yourself to binge watch The Jerry Springer Show. You know you want to.

Jack Godbey is a resident of Danville and a published author.