How many times have you opened the door for someone and received a very genuine “thank you” and a smile?
It feels good, doesn’t it?
For every one person who doesn’t say anything when you open the door for them, there are ten people who light up by this simple act.
Have you ever noticed how surprised people are by small acts of kindness?
It seems we are quicker to accept that someone is capable of doing bad than we are of people who do good.
If you watch any heartwarming video on the internet or read any uplifting story, you’ll see comments below that go along the lines of “faith in humanity restored,” or “I’m glad there are still good people.”
We live in a world full of cynicism and pessimism.
We find ourselves shocked and moved by the kindness of others and jaded by the horrors that exist.
And yet it feels so good to do good!
When I worked in retail as a teenager, I remember the feeling of satisfaction I’d get from merely helping a customer get what they wanted or being able to completely answer a question a customer had. And, in turn, that customer was happy because I was serving him or her.
And yes, I’d get the people who would come in irritated and unfriendly, but those people were few and far between in comparison to the people who were grateful for my assistance.
This type of kindness towards each other creates and interesting sort of bond with a stranger. You feel less alone when you are kind to someone else and you feel better about yourself. It’s easier to talk to a person after having initiated an interaction with him or her through an act of kindness.
Have you ever heard of the Ben Franklin Effect?
Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.” In other words, someone who has done you a favor is more likely to do you another favor.
It is believed that if you ask to borrow someone’s pencil, they are more inclined to like you afterward, having done you a kindness. There’s that connection.
This absolutely works both ways too because you are more inclined to like the person who just did you a favor!
Such a small act of kindness, something that inconveniences us so little, can go such a long way.
It’s much easier to be kind than it is to float through this world alone and unhappy.
So next time that co-worker asks for a pen or that classmate wants to borrow a pencil, rather than turn them down try doing them a favor for kindness’ sake. Who knows what might come out of it.