Last month I was traveling for business, and I was grabbing a bite to eat inside of an incredibly busy airport restaurant.
The guy who was serving me was visibly stressed out, sweating profusely, and became extremely flustered when I asked him basic questions about the menu. So, I put the menu down and looked him in the eye and gently asked him a question.
“Hey man, not to pry…but, are you okay?”
It was crazy–just the act of asking him that simple question changed his entire demeanor. It was like a 50 lb weight was lifted off of his back.
He sighed, and then he told me that he just started at the restaurant yesterday and that this was his first shift alone. He then shared how much he needed this job, and how determined he was not to screw up this opportunity, even though he (admittedly) barely knew what was on the menu.
Unfortunately, we didn’t chat for very long because he was being pulled in every direction by all of the customers he was serving–many of which, were not very kind or patient with him.
I felt terrible for him–he was clearly trying his best, and I wanted to do something to help. So, when my bill came, I left him a tip that was more than the price of the meal (in case you’re mistaking me for a big baller, it was only $20), and a note that said:
“Remember, with everything that’s new, it’s always hard before it’s easy. Hang in there–you got this!”
Afterward, I went to the restroom, and as I walked out of the restroom and headed out of the restaurant to catch my flight, I was practically tackled by my waiter.
I still can hear the enthusiasm in his voice as he gave me a hug, “Duuuuuuuude! Thank you so much! That was so cool of you–you just made my day!”
And because of that, my day was made too.
What If We Did This Every Day?
This might sound silly to you, but typing up that story and replaying it in my mind is filling me up with a ridiculous amount of joy–even though it has been over a month since it happened.
There is so much power in offering kindness to others, and it feels so good to do it too.
That’s why I believe that we should actively and consciously commit to using kindness to make someone’s day, every day.
In case you’re wondering, this has nothing to do with leaving large tips at restaurants, or with money at all. There are so many cost-free ways to do this–here are just a few:
- Instead of being the person who only says something when you receive bad service, make a point to consistently compliment great service (better yet, make sure to tell their manager about it too).
- Randomly call up one of your friends or family members just to say how much you appreciate him/her.
- Encourage someone’s dream instead of telling them why it can’t be done.
As mentioned, these are only a few examples, but how you choose to spread your kindness isn’t important to me. What matters to me is that you do it–preferably, every day.
The Ripple Effect
You likely know how deeply I believe in the power of kindness, so I won’t rehash that here. Here’s what I will say, though:
Kindness is the fastest, most effective, and easiest way to positively change the world.
Just the simple act of making someone’s day can positively affect three (or more) people:
- The person delivering the act of kindness
- The person receiving the act of kindness
- The person (or people) witnessing the act of kindness
Can you imagine if everyone reading this blog post committed to making someone’s day, every day? Can you imagine the positive impact that could have on literally millions of people? You (yes, you!) could literally be the person who restores someone’s faith in the goodness of humanity.
I believe that this “ripple effect” (one that we are responsible for starting, by the way) could be the key to healing the world.
And yes, the world needs healing.
The Fascination With What’s Wrong With The World
Do you know what drives me insane?
People sitting around and bitching about what’s wrong with the world.
Those conversations kill a tiny piece of my soul every time.
Yes, the world is definitely broken in many ways–I get that. But wouldn’t it be more useful to ask ourselves, “so, what are we going to do to fix it?”
I’m telling you, consistent and repeated kindness is the answer. Simply committing to making someone’s day, every day, could change everything.
For example, I believe that my brief interaction with the waiter at the airport, really helped him.
Maybe the positive effect wore off as soon as the next customer screamed at him for screwing up her order. Or, maybe he’s still thinking about me right now and using our interaction as motivation to keep fighting through a challenging shift. Maybe an onlooker chose to be kinder to someone in his life because he saw how genuinely happy an act of kindness made my waiter.
What I do know is that no act of kindness is ever wasted.
Make today the day where you commit to making someone’s day, every day. Your commitment could spark the change that will positively change the world.
And if that doesn’t make your day, then what will?
Have you ever experienced the power of a random act of kindness–either as a giver, receiver or witness? How did it make you feel to make someone’s day? Jump into the comments below and make your voice heard!
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