This year as we gear up for the holidays and running a million a minute between baking, shopping, decorating, sipping eggnog, and socializing, I feel the need to share one of the things I am thankful for – random acts of kindness.
As I was walking into a store the other day, in a terrible mood and in desperate need of a caffeine fix, an employee yelled across the store “Hello sweetheart!” at me. I had never seen this woman before, so I was taken aback by her friendliness. I smiled, said hi, and went about my business locating all of the sugary products in the store. When I got up to the register to cash out, my little ray of sunshine was there, complimenting my outfit, asking about my weekend plans, and she was beyond the friendliness I was used to in that store. It shouldn’t have been shocking that a worker was being friendly, I know it is part of her job to be nice, but I was in complete awe of how easily this girl changed my mood for the day. I didn’t need my caffeine fix, I realized, I just needed a smile and some kind words.
With the way that our society is nowadays, daily stress of everyday life takes over and we forget what it is like to be nice to each other. It shouldn’t be rocket science to learn basic manners and just being friendly to one another. It doesn’t matter if you know each other, it doesn’t matter how a strange may have treated you, it should just be a known way of life to be kind.
With that, here is a little tutorial on how you should be acting not only throughout the holidays, but in general life:1. Acknowledge humans beings. And animals obviously. Doesn’t matter if you aren’t Facebook friends, if they stole the last doughnut in the break room yesterday, or if they pushed you into a garbage can when you were in middle school fifteen years ago. It is not hard to say hi to them in passing and let them know that you are not a douche.2. SMILE. Studies have shown that smiling not only makes you feel better, but the person you are smiling at will feel better too. Time to show off those pearly whites or dentures and feel better about life!3. Say thank you. For everything and anything. When someone lets you in front of them in traffic, when someone gives you a piece of gum, when someone tells you that you booty is looking fine in those acid wash jeans, you say THANK YOU. 4. Hold open the door. Do not think you should just be opening the door for 95 year old woman that look like she is struggling. Even if they look like they are fully capable of getting the door for themselves, it is a kind gesture to do for everyone.5. Acknowledge when someone sneezes. Why? BECAUSE IT IS THE NICE THING TO DO. And you do not have to say “bless you” if you find that offensive. I have goggled some other phrases for you to use (I have translated them into English for you – you’re welcome): In Arabic they say “May God have mercy on you!”, in Chinese they say “Drink more water!”, in Finnish they say “For Health!”, in German they say “You shall grow tall!”, and in Russian they say “I’m telling the truth!”. And if you choose to say nothing, the least you could do is hand the snotty person a tissue.6. If someone is struggling, offer some help. If someone is having a tough time carrying some bags, offer assistance. If someone isn’t understanding something, offer some patience. If someone is sad, offer them something to laugh about.They may not accept your help, but just the offer could make all the difference.7. Throw some positive vibes into the world. Not “I am positive that I would like to see my ex get hit by a bus” or “I am positive that I would like to see that a-hole step on a lego with no shoes on”. More wishing the best for someone and their well-being, even if you are a fan of them. Positive vibes can go a long way!8. Appreciate all the good in your life. Something big to realize: There is ALWAYS someone worse off than you are. Appreciate all that you have and all that you continue to achieve.
9. Be kind to one another. AKA – do not be a douche. If you think you could come off as an ass, don’t do it. Think how you would like to be treated and go from there.
Remember that you could be the determining factor in someone’s mood for the day, week, month or hell, even their year. It was a simple, random girl who was nice to me in a store that inspired me to write this, so just think what you could do for someone. Just as my girl Ellen Degeneres says, “be kind to one another!” Happy Holidays everyone!
Featured image via juleshough.