I found myself starting to get sucked into the maelstrom of angry people yesterday. I encountered rude people in traffic, at the grocery store, clerks who were more interested in talking with their friends about when their break was instead of talking to customers. The world can feel like such an angry place if you listen to the news of the day, and it’s so easy to take that negativity out into the world. But- it’s also easy to choose a different path, to decide to look for good and be a part of the solution. There is so much good to be found everywhere when we aren’t blinded by negativity.
I took a few deep breaths, remembering that adding to an angry situation is never a good solution. What if instead of resorting to that first response of throwing back what was thrown at us, we lobbed over a bit of kindness? The effect can be transformative. My husband is the master at this; clerk with an attitude? Within minutes he has the clerk laughing at his jokes. Rude drivers speeding past? Let them go- we are in no hurry. In each situation, be strong enough to be the one who returns a smile. Be the one who shows empathy- who knows what the angry person is dealing with in their lives that has caused them to react the way they are? Maybe you are the one person who can make them stop and think, help them to turn their attitude around- even if just for a little bit. Imagine if we all did that- what a different world we would live in.
I truly believe that what we put out into the world is important. We can make a difference, even if our actions make just one person think twice about their own choices. It costs nothing to draw from an arsenal of kindness and joy, and the rewards are infinite. I love Ghandi’s words, Be the change you wish to see in the world. Wise man. It starts with us. It starts with me.