Once you become widowed and see just how awful people can be following your loss, sometimes one might think that particular brand of ugliness is directed just to us and our new stations in life.
Maybe I’m just too sensitive now, you might think.
And maybe, sometimes, that might be the truth.
But in all honesty, things really have changed.
For all of us.
Widowed, or not.
I can’t put my finger on where or when, but somewhere along the line, kindness went out of vogue.
Yes, there are still many folks out there who exude love, kindness, and compassion, but they seem to be a dwindling breed.
I try my hardest not to become so jaded that I can’t be nice to a stranger, or offer a reassuring smile to a passerby on the street who looks sad, but it gets more and more difficult based on the amount of just plain nasty people out there.
Not one day goes by where I don’t ask myself why are people so rude?
I don’t just see it online, I see it in real life.
Just the other day I was privy to a middle school teacher not only expressing disdain over students with learning disabilities, she was also directly rude to me, in person. To my face kind of rude, in ways that I never ever would have been to a complete stranger for no reason whatsoever. (And how awful for a professional educator to discount those with learning impairments, too, but that’s another topic entirely.)
I can usually shake off one or two rude people, but it’s not just that anymore.
It’s more rude people than not rude people.
It’s people who look at you strangely if you compliment their hair. (I’m a hairdresser, so I hone right in on nice hair.)
Not only can they not stammer out a simple thank you, but they are offended that they were even spoken to.
It’s people who make demands of you, a total stranger, giving you orders as if you owe them something.
It’s positively mind-boggling.
We can no longer be polite?
We are now bossy to whomever, just because?
When did this happen?
One doesn’t need to go around trying to be best friends with everyone they encounter, but being kind, at least in my humble opinion, should always be the default setting.
Yes, admittedly, I’ve had moments where I could’ve been nicer. But being pleasant is something that I actively strive for.
But not everyone sees it like that.
Many simply just do not feel the need to be pleasant – which is better than being deliberately cruel, I guess.
It is my hope to use this blog space right now to remind people that kindness costs nothing.
A simple smile and/or a brief “thank you” can go miles.
A hello to your neighbor.
An excuse me to someone standing in your way.
None of it costs one red cent.
I would love to “challenge” those who are reading this to offer some kind of simple kindness to someone, just to show them that they matter.
You never know whose life you might impact for the better.
Let’s strive to treat others how we would want to be treated – it doesn’t hurt, I promise!