Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Slap 'Em With Kindness

Picture the scene: WOMAN talking on her phone barks order at a coffee shop worker. In between each customized order, she barks orders at her phone. There's a lot of "no"s involved. Uncertain, the coffee shop worker stops and erases the transaction. They start all over again and we find out the person on the other end of the phone is her husband. I let out a loud "ha" and continue to sip my drink.

Somewhere in the last two decades, the human connection was lost. The art of appreciating one another went right down the toilet. I don't mean to say that everyone has lost  their good sense, but that things aren't the same as they used to be.

Earlier this morning, a couple from out of town were out wandering around the Lower East Side. They stood at the corner where I was waiting for a friend, with their map out, and completely lost. They kept to themselves and searched for the street signs and how it corresponded with what they held in their hands. After thirty seconds of feeling bad for them, I offered my help. I pointed to our location on their map and wished them a good day as they left. Turning to my friend, I simply said "breaking that stereotype." He laughed because we know that as New Yorkers, we're not thought of as nice people. New Yorkers are tough, but it doesn't mean that we can't be kind.

So, I've created a personal challenge. I'll do my best to be kinder. Don't get me wrong. This doesn't mean I'll a be pushover. I'm not that woman's husband. I'll simply try my best to be a gentleman and stand against the current.

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