I am in my natural state a grumpy pessimist. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m northern (US) and come from a state where it’s residents are affectionately *cough* called Massholes but being nice to strangers doesn’t come naturally. I just tend to keep my head down and get on with my business. Now I don’t know if it’s because I’ve moved away from all things familiar or I’m getting old but kindness is becoming very important to me. I think it’s an age thing. There is soo much ugly in the world that I don’t want to be putting any more of it out there. This has been causing me to behave in very un-masshole ways! I smile at strangers, while waiting for Squidge to get out of school I chat w/ anyone and everyone. I crack jokes w/ the bank teller and wish everyone a good day. The other day I almost signed off an email with ‘have a fantastic day!!’ *shudder* I’m glad I caught myself before I hit send. Even in my mellowing aged state I don’t think I want to go there!!
The other day I was chatting with Squidge and we were discussing being nice to people and how important it is to be kind to others. I want her to be comfortable being nice. I don’t want her to have to make a conscious decision to be nice. It should be her natural state of being.
We have an Indian restaurant not too far from us, we don’t go there a lot, maybe once a month. I’m always super friendly, I make eye contact and smile. Nothing too strange but sooo outside my comfort zone! The funny thing is I love the response I get from people! The folks at the Indian restaurant are soo nice and remember that I like 1/2 portions and that Squidge likes to eat from a bowl and not a plate. We went there for NYE and I was given a little gift, a mug. Now I don’t know for sure but I can almost guarantee that not everyone was given a mug. I’m not being nice to get things obviously but I do love disarming people with kindness! I think it’s the unexpectedness of it all. The bank teller who is a smidge grumpy when I first get to the window who is smiling and laughing when I leave. Once a long long time ago when I was a moody teenager my Uncle W told me you catch more bees w/ honey than you do with vinegar.
Now get me behind the wheel of a car and my natural Masshole tendencies come rearing back!!