I have been thinking lately of how easy it is to choose to be kind
For instance , my friend Debbie always smiles at Wal Mart greeters because as she says "you never know if that is the only social interaction they will have all day"
Now I too beam at them .
There is an old man who lives a few houses down.
He and I always seem to be taking walks at the same time. And he always smiles at me.
DH calls him my boyfriend and he comes up often in our conversation
For example, if DH does not thank me when I do something for DH, I tell him reproachfully "I bet my boyfriend would never do that."
The old man is very hard of hearing and so chatting with him is a little tiring as I have to yell at the top of my voice
But these days, I think of what Debbie said about the Walmart greeters( what if this is his only social interaction of the day ?) and I have resolved to chat with him no matter how awkward it is to yell out pleasantries!
And every day this week - its as though my smile says to him that I am open to chat instead of just being polite.
So, instead of just saying hi he crosses the road and we talk
And everyday he asks me a question
What is your name ?
Where do you live?
Why do you walk ?
He asks me the other day
( I tell him its to lose weight.I try to look interested, - when he explains in detail that weight loss calorie intake minus calorie output )
But the next day he offers to give me his exercycle.
When I say I already have one ( I dont, but loathe exercycling ) he gruffly says "its just lying around "-( not wanting to appear too kind too needy)
I sense a proud spirit and thank him sincerely for the thoughtfulness and he looks mollified
A couple of days ago he asks me " What is your son's affliction .. why do you have to wheel him around ?"
( I have told him earlier that R has Autism but I am guessing he did not hear the word Autism or does not know what Autism means but has gathered that R has a condition )
" I just wheel him so I can take a walk at adult speed .. I miss him all day so I hate being away from him in the evening ...he has Autism but he can walk ?" I tell him
"What is his prognosis" he asks
I reply " His prognosis is fantastic.. he is just so smart and so sweet "
He recognises the dont-you-dare-feel-sorry-for-me in my voice ( takes one to know one )
Pats my shoulder and says "He gets that from him mother"
The book is wrong - its not really pay it forward
Random acts of kindness have instant return