Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Be THAT person

    I was reading a blog a few weeks ago, and the writer gave everyone "an assignment for the weekend" to compliment a stranger.  She went on to say it would probably be harder for men than women.  It gave me pause.  These are things I see and hear often - people being kind and complimentary.  I do not mean folks are always showering ME with compliments, but I witness a great deal of good in the world.  I wonder if it is there everywhere, and sometime we choose not to see it.
   I teach at a college and while I will grant you that folks in the arts building are often a little more informal than other departments, I also see it out on the quad, in the library - people telling someone what great boots they  are wearing, or how nice they look today. It never occurs to me that this might be something that requires effort.  I think it is just being human.
    Recently, I went to an outdoor gathering and someone was using a scooter chair to get around. They were in a very crowded place, and could not get past a gentleman chatting with his back to the scooter, unaware that he was blocking it.  The person in the scooter could not be heard above the crowd, so I asked if she wanted me to get him to move.  All it took was a touch on his shoulder, and he quickly shifted.  At least three people  told me how nice it was that I would do that.  Why?  Why is something as simple as that exceptional?  Is it because we live with our faces plastered to our electronics? (Yes, I recognize the irony of that as I type a computer blog!)
     I have always said, "My Daddy raised me to be a gentleman." Yes, I am female, but the training is the same.  Hold the door for someone if you get there first.  Help someone with their bags.  Offer an arm to lean on in icy weather.  It is not, nor should it be, an assignment. It is courtesy and is an easy habit to get into. 

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