“It cost nothing to be kind.” This isn’t the exact quote from my favorite Dallas makeup artist, Jazzy Baptiste, but I got the gist of it. I forgot our exact conversation, but it did center around the fact if ever in a situation if you have a choice to be mean or kind, just be kind.
It really cost nothing to be kind to people. To smile, go the extra mile, or just help some out in their time of need may mean more to that person than you will ever know. When things don’t go our way sometimes our default it to get defensive and ugly, but we need to practice seeing it from the other person’s side. We don’t know what’s going on in that person’s life.
For example, where I live the leasing office is supposed to be open extended hours on Thursdays. The office will close at 7PM on Thursdays where as every other day the office closes at 6PM. Being open extended hours allows people to come in an speak with the office staff about anything.
During the week it takes me about an hour to get home, and most of the time I can’t get home at 7PM. Well, the last couple of Thursdays I rearranged my work schedule in order to leave in enough time to make it to the leasing office. Of course when I get there at 6:15PM the leasing office is closed.
That Friday I called the leasing office and asked why the office wasn’t open until 7PM. I needed to get parking passes, but since the office wasn’t open I couldn’t pick any up for my guest. The leasing agent understood and offered to write the passes and place them in my apartment. I was nice about it. She offered a solution that did not require me to do any extra work on my behalf. When I arrived home that evening I had two parking passes for my guest.
Turns out the office was closed at 6PM because they were running on a skeleton crew. There was only the office manager and one leasing agent. They were working 7 days a week for 9 hours a day. That’s 63 hours a week. Which means 23 hours of overtime a week. To work 63 hours a week and go to school full time is a lot of work. She said there was so much drama behind it, but now they have one more person in the office and things could get back to normal again.
As a person who went to school full time and worked two jobs while doing it I could feel her pain. I understand how tiring a schedule like that can be on a person. Yes, I was irritated about leaving work early twice a in two weeks, but how was I wronged? By getting home early and having time to play with my dog? She was working 23 hours of overtime a week. I couldn’t be mad at that.
Many times being kind grants you a ton more access than being rude and evil. Last year when I went to visit my sick grandmother in Ohio I flew into Port Columbus International Airport. From Columbus I still needed to drive to Dayton and Cincinnati to see family so renting a car was a must.
As I checked in to pick up my car I saw the agent wasn’t having the best of days. In fact he had a bit of an attitude at first. Working customer service can wear on the best of people so I changed my attitude to be positive as well. After he saw that I was super nice too him and even stayed and spoke to him a bit he upgraded me for free in a 2015 white Mustang Convertible! Just because I was being kind to him. Let me tell you. Don’t expect things from people just for being kind. You need to be genuinely kind from your heart. A kindness that radiates the room when you walk in. People should feel super comfortable around you. When you are genuinely kind great things start to happen to you in your life. When you are nice from the inside out you will notice that people will begin to treat you nicer.
Don’t be offended if someone does not treat you well. Sometimes you can be so kind to people and they still don't get it. Remember that we don’t know the whole story of that person’s day. Yes, I do get it. You didn’t make this person mad and they shouldn’t take it out on you. While you are 100% right you have to remember that people are humans and we are ruled by our emotional state. While that person may be rude to you just think that we don't know exactly what happened to this person that day so return the meanness with kindness. Don’t act condescending with it. Be genuinely nice and happy in conversation. You will see that people will begin to change their tone to you and towards you.
Who knows… your kindness might change that person’s day and outlook.
Remember, it cost nothing to just be kind.