In a world where you could be anything…Bee Kind!
“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Christmas Eve a few years ago was a night I will never forget. I was wearing a black cocktail dress, just finished an amazing dinner and was sipping my Port to finish off an amazing evening of great food with great company. The restaurant was starting to clear out, the tables were being cleared and out of the corner of my eye I saw a busboy cleaning the table next to us.
Not thinking much of it I continued on with my conversation and suddenly I felt cold and wetness all down my left side. The busboy had spilled the tray of drinks all over me and my purse that was sitting at my feet.
I was frozen with shock for a few seconds, my mouth opened and I gasped out loud as a piece of ice made its way down my bra. The busboy stood there in shock, we made eye contact and finally I was able to muster up the words “OH MY GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?” He stood there wide-eyed and frozen, holding the tray in disbelief of what he just did, then began saying over and over “I’m so sorry miss, I’m so sorry miss”.
The manager of the restaurant must have seen this happen and rushed over with a handful of napkins, said something quietly to the busboy who dashed away quickly and began apologizing profusely.
I headed to the bathroom to clean myself up and dry off. While I was in the bathroom, I took a few deep breaths, I looked at myself in the mirror and actually chuckled and then suddenly felt awful for being a dick to busboy. Yes, I just had a tray of dinks spilled all over me, but let’s see the good in this situation:
- It was only water and tea, no red wine or hot coffee were among the drinks
- None of the glasses broke cutting me and causing me to bleed
- It could have been food and been a MUCH bigger mess
- He called me Miss, WOOHOO!!
As I headed back to the table, I was ok and even had a smile on my face. They were still cleaning up the glasses and the busboy had returned to help. As I was taking my seat, I said to him, “I’m sorry I got upset, I’m ok, it was just an accident.” I smiled and sat back down and finished my Port and my great evening.
I have already written a blog about Doing Good to Feel Good, however, with the current news story this week about the man on the American Airline flight getting violently upset about the woman reclining her seat in front of him, I thought it couldn’t hurt to write another blog about being kind.
This is not a blog debating on whether you should or should not recline your seat on an airplane; everyone has different opinions about it. This blog is more about how you choose to respond in situations, are you usually kind or are you a dick? Sorry if that word offends you, but let’s face it, it’s gets the point across a little more, right? A dick is basically a jerk with a little extra helping of arrogance.
Kindness is an interpersonal skill. It is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Affection, gentleness, warmth, concern, and care are words that are all associated with kindness.
I think in general I am a kind person, but there are certainly times when I respond in ways that I later wished I wouldn’t have, including that Christmas Eve night. That busboy did not intentionally pour drinks on me, it was an accident and I responded poorly. We all sometimes regret the way we respond to unexpected situations but being aware of it can help us in future situations, so our instinct is to be kind vs. responding out of anger.
Did you know that March 19 is National Let’s Laugh Day? November 3 is National Sandwich Day (shout out to my friend Joanie for loving sandwiches, mark your calendar girl!) And December 5 is National Bathtub Party Day encouraging you to skip the shower and linger in the tub? Yep, there is a holiday for everything!
Well, July 29 is “Don’t Be A Dick Day?”. Ok, well maybe not officially yet, but Wil Wheaton is trying to make it a National Day. Right now, he is competing with July 29 being National Lasagna Day AND National Chicken Wing day. He does have some pretty serious competition, however, I think he has a great shot of getting it added to the list.
Wil has a graph on his website that makes me laugh:
He has a good point though, really what he means is just be kind. I know, it’s hard sometimes when we are having our own personal crap going on, but studies show when you are kind, even if you are struggling, you feel better.
I don’t know all the details in the American Airlines story (we are just seeing what the media shows us) but if you look at what we were presented, perhaps this man could have responded to her a little kinder. Then again, he could have been a bit more kind, asking her if she could move her seat forward and in return been treated like dick by her saying “Hello no, I paid for this seat!” Or perhaps she was being passive aggressive by keeping her seat back rather than turning around and asking him kindly to not punch her seat…maybe he would have said he was sorry and stopped.
Maybe both of them would have felt better knowing that at least they tried the kind tactic vs. reverting to anger or being passive aggressive. [We can’t control how people respond to us, even if we are trying to be kind…but that’s a whole other blog].
You never really know where someone is at in their life story. Whether your best friend, the cashier at the grocery store, the busboy at the restaurant, the woman in the seat of the plane in front of you or the guy in the seat behind you. What you do have control over is how you choose to act or respond in situations.
If someone is rude to you today or tomorrow, be kind. Maybe something happened this morning that turned their world upside down. Even if you are having your own craptastic day, try being kind, I would put money on it that you will feel better.
You Got This!
Remember, You Got This!