I don't want to give Satan any further due than he's already earned. But it seems to me he's always omnipresent; always lurking just over our shoulder, to keep us from being as good as we might otherwise be. And it seems to me that kindness is like the medicine we rebelled against as a child....that dose of cough syrup might halt our coughing but it tasted so damn bad that we fought the spoon proffered by our mother.
Yet, being kind is so damn easy. It doesn't require a great deal of effort, and it need not be a big thing...it can be dosed out by the spoonful, and once administered, it makes us feel so much better.
So yesterday, I had to run over to Walmart to pick up some coffee filters. As I drove into the parking lot I found myself vying for the same parking space as a lady coming from the other direction. My signal light was blinking and her opposing light was blinking, both of us looking for that prime spot near the entrance door. So, I put my car in neutral and waved her into the parking spot. And as I drove around to the next row of parking I saw the lady emerge from her car and wave her thanks to me. And it felt good...good enough so that I didn't mind walking the fifty or so extra feet from a parking slot more distant.
So I went into Walmart, picked up a box of coffee filters and walked to the "20 or less" checkout lane. There was a lady who, ahead of me, noted my one item and invited me to go first, ahead of her. I politely refused but couldn't help but equate my small kindness out in the parking lot and my being reimbursed in kindness from someone else.
So I left and drove up 83rd Avenue, intent on having a low carb, protein style "Double-Double" at In N Out Burger. By this time, at mid-day, it was already getting quite warm and the line through the drive-thru was quite long. I was fine with the wait...being retired provides acres of time to dawdle in fast food lines. But the lady behind me, in her little Kia compact, was not. As I looked at her in my rear view mirror she was looking at her watch, wiping her damp hair from her brow, and seemed to be the epitome of "working girl" trying to get her lunch and get back to her work place.
So, as I came up to the pay window, I handed the cashier my card and told her to pay for the lady behind me as well. And as I drove up to the pickup window I smiled to myself; I had just "kindness-bombed" someone who had felt hurried and harassed, and I was feeling pure delight that I had surreptitiously given her a small respite from her harried day.
Wish I could say that I'm always that kind. I'm not. But I'm smart enough to know that being kind is more for me that it is for the person the kindness is extended to. Don't knock it till you've tried it...it makes you feel pretty damn good!