That was the license plate in front of me as I drove to work today. It struck a chord. It's something that I need to remember to do no matter who I'm dealing with. I think too often, we get into a mindset that we should only be kind to people we like. If there's a stranger or someone who annoys us or someone we genuinely dislike, we don't feel obligated to be kind anymore.
I was having a beer with my husband before the Buckeye game and the bar was completely packed. In the midst of the wall-to-wall people, there was a table with about 12 open chairs around it. There was an attractive couple sitting at the table but the rest were empty. I went up to them and asked if we could sit at their table and the girl said they were saving them for their friends. My husband and I leaned against the wall and drank our beers. During the twenty or so minutes it took for us to finish, their friends never arrived and they sat there as content as could be while a bunch of us found places to perch with our drinks. I saw them turn a few more people away after us. Would it have killed them to let us sit there until their friends arrived? It was a very small thing they could have done for the sake of kindness but it never occurred to them.
Back in October, I was waiting in line to buy an apple pie. In front of me was a woman with about four really big, really heavy pumpkins. The cashier next to the one we were waiting behind opened and the lady told us we could move over there to pay. The pumpkin lady didn't want to because she had small kids and was having trouble managing them and her pumpkins so I thought she was going to wait where she was until the first cashier came back. I took up the second cashier's offer and went over there to pay for my pie. My brother was standing behind the pumpkin lady and heard her say something bitchy about me cutting in front of her. Honestly, if she would've starting moving her pumpkins over, I still would've finished paying for my one pie WAY before she finished so I don't see how I inconvenienced her any. After my brother told me, I thought, life is too short to get that pissed off at a stranger and made a mental note not to send bad thoughts towards anyone that gets in front of me in line.
Yesterday, someone advised me that since I can't control any one's actions except my own, the best I can do is to be kind without expecting anything in return. I think that's good advice. Today's license plate reinforced that message. I will be working hard to achieve that goal - especially through the holidays.