The golden rule is so simple and yet I think it’s so easily forgotten. Kindness and courteousness are easy to overlook when going through what Ronald Orzabal would call “our daily races of going nowhere.” Our days with technology, time, and schedules seem to keep our heads buzzing and make us forget that all around us are people. We miss the opportunities to indulge in other’s around us and really listen.
Today I was reminded what kindness looks like:
On my way to work, I saw an accident at the bottom of the hill. Everyone ahead of me came to a halt on the slippery freeway. Naturally, some people may get frustrated about time constraints but it gave me the chance to *cautiously* come to a stop and observe the scene in front of me.
One car parked with hazards stopped traffic in the left lane from doing more damage to the already demolished truck. Another person parked on the shoulder to help out with the accident. The right lane where ongoing traffic yielded was clear of the accident, yet we did not move. The reason we were backed up for a short minute was due to the first few cars verbally checking in with the people in the accident. As I saw a thumbs-up and a wave, traffic started to move again.
I was moved. I’ve seen accidents several times over, especially in Minnesota. Today was different, however, people were repeatedly making sure that the victims were okay. It was like everyone had the mindset of helping one another and that was the main objective. Time frames seemed to be little next to no importance.
The Bullied Girl
I arrived at my job on time despite the accident-stop time. See, no need to worry or get frustrated dearies! Anyway, I have several jobs and this one happens to be a cashier position in one of the mall stores. It was a normal day and after an hour passed I received a customer looking for a free gift from her email coupon which she didn’t have on her.
The story of my life!
To make this story quick, let’s just say I was really sweet to her Disney employee style–thanks DCP 2015 for the enhancement of my customer service skills –and she got her FREE gift.
About three minutes later, a pretty girl relatively young came through the check-out line. I noticed she was looking over her shoulder and shaking a little bit. I thought it was odd.
As I began to ring her items through, I learned that the “free gift girl” I just serviced, actually was a this shivering girl’s bully all throughout high school. She told me that when they bump into each other she still gets harassed by the girl I had just helped out at the register.
It was hard not to believe this poor girl who was shaking and looks quite in distress. You can’t fake that when going to a mall store and talking to a complete stranger. After listening to her story, I decided to give her a pep talk. “The bullied meak girl” isn’t her label and she will do amazing things. Jealousy can turn people into cruel beings, but that isn’t what she should focus on. She needs to focus on herself and know that she’ll be going to such far places compared to people that center themselves around putting down others.
If you don’t focus on yourself for improvement and be the best you as possible, then how will you continue to succeed?
As a last huzzah, I added, “Only you can be the one, and only, best possible you.”
She looked at me and smiled for the first time since she timidly walked up with her items. I hope “The bullied girl” rises from our conversation today and makes her own name. In fact, I know she will because she has something to focus on other than hate or hurt against those girls. It’s improving herself to reach the person she wants to be.
And with that three-minute conversation, “the bullied girl” no longer existed. As I began talking with the next customer, I saw a strong independent girl with her head raised walk out of the store from the corner of my eye.
My last reminder of “treat others as you wish to be treated” lesson arrived when a very wonderful lady from Poplar, Wisconsin came to the cash register. As I rang her items, we discussed the store credit card and saving xx% off her purchase. She was so down to save money I don’t think I could talk her out of it if I had tried! She looked at me, then, and asked if I could help her with the pin pad and touchscreen. I couldn’t say no to this chipper woman, nor did I want to.
After a long struggle of teamwork and laughs, she got her discount and saved money on her purchase. I think this elderly woman is the first person I’ve met that’s so enthusiastic about a credit card…Or was it the credit card. Shortly after I bagged her receipt, she told me she lost her husband not that long ago and it’s hard for her to do technological things without him. He was her go-to person. With an appreciative smile, she turned on her heel to head out the door.
Y’all that broke my heart and melted my mascara.
This poor woman depended on her late husband to help her with daily occurrences that Millennials find second nature! I can’t imagine losing an important person and feeling like I don’t have someone to help me through daily tasks.
Today was my memo. An unscheduled notification dinging at me to look around and listen. Well, I’m here writing as an emotional and pensive fool, so obviously, the notification worked. If there’s one thing that I want you, dearies, to take away from this today, it’s that we all want the same thing. To be treated as human beings.
Listen, if only for a second, just listen to someone today with your full attention.
Tell the important people in your life you love them.
Most importantly, check in with yourself. Don’t focus on all the negativity in the world, but rather what you can do to better yourself and thus impact the people around you.
To think, if I hadn’t understood anything today, I don’t know what the day would have brought. I just know that fifth-grade me had one thing right in remembering that song: If we love one another deep in the heart, that’s a start.