Today, as we were exiting an outdoor restaurant, a young man backtracked to hold the gate open for us. So unexpected was his move that I stopped, addressed him with a big smile, and told him how heart-warming it was to see this old-fashioned courtesy applied so graciously. It was obviously second nature to him.
Civility does still abide, and we need to call it out and applaud it whenever it appears. What random act of kindness have you witnessed recently?
The older I get, the more people will hold the door for me, etc. Last month at the airport, a TSA agent thought my husband looked confused and graciously took us over to the prime customer line. Whatever! Super nice of her.
Saw this recently (can’t remember where) that when you’re young, people laugh if you fall. You know you’re old, though, when they come up to you with concern on their faces and ask if you’re alright.
I always thank the person showing kindness - I don’t always know if it’s because they think I’m old, or whether they are just being polite. I choose the latter! I also always smile and say good morning or good afternoon when I meet someone on the walking trails and I usually get a lovely response in return. We had friends visiting from the Big City and took them on our trails for a walk. She commented later on that she couldn’t believe how friendly people were - in the city, no one says anything.
It’s been said that people generally can’t help but smile back when you smile at them - so let’s all put on our smiles when we’re out and about.
Amen, sister! What we put out comes back to us. Choose joy; spread joy.
I never really get why some get upset if a door is held for them. I mean I always hold the door and offer right-of-way for anyone (man, woman, child) coming in or going out and never give it a second thought. I suppose the alternative is to just let the door slam shut in someone’s face or shove them out of the way??? I was coming out of a restaurant this week when a young man (I’d say about 12 years old) held the door open for me. He was the last of his family exiting the restaurant so it wasn’t like his parents were watching -they were half way to the car! I said, with my biggest smile, “Thank you for holding the door for me!” To which he replied, “Your welcomed, mam.” Sweet! but “mam” reminds me I must remind him of his grandmother, which is fair enough since I’m 68 but that always comes as a surprise to me since I think of myself much younger. Anyway, I admit I wanted to give him a high-five for being so aware of others and I wanted to give his parents a high-five for how they are raising their son to be kind.
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
My first “ma’am” came from a gas jockey - I was 22 - and mightily offended - ma’am is for old people!!
Lately on occasion some young server or clerk will call me “Miss,” which feels oddly out of place, given my silver hair. (“What, you think I got to this age without being married?”) But whether they “Miss,” “Ma’am,” or “Young Lady” me, they mean well. And it beats, “Hey, you!” (chuckle)
Ma’am is very Southern, IMO. My boys learned it growing up in Texas.
When we lived in TX, I noticed how polite the kids were. Kids in the Midwest are not taught to call adults Mam and Sir. We lived in NC for two years when my son was 1.5-3.5. I loved how the children were told to call me Miss Laurel and my husband Mr. Gerry. It is so much friendlier (but still respectful) than calling adults Mrs. Smith and Mr. Smith.
I heard about this first from my sister and her friends, and now at my son’s church - Mrs. Elsie, Mrs. Maria, Mr. Carl, Mr. Steve - sounds so much more polite than children calling adults by their first names.
And now that I’m of a “certain age” it’s Dear and Hon.
Yes. I’m hearing a lot of “Dear” and “Hon.” Sure do prefer it to “Young Lady.”
This wasn’t recent, but it was still a random act of kindness I experienced in my life that made a profound impact on me.
About 15 years ago, I was a young single mother of 2 small boys. I had recently been injured and was unable to work, so money was extremely tight. I was in the cat food aisle, kids in tow, and was trying to figure out if I had enough money to buy what my 2 cats would need for the week and was counting the change I had in my purse and comparing it to the prices. A stranger interrupted me and asked (very politely) if I was counting change to buy my cat food with, to which I responded by blushing profusely and nodding. This lovely woman opened her own purse and gave me $50 and told me to buy what I needed for my cats, and get something nice for my boys as well, and left before I could even figure out how to begin objecting.
This experience stuck with me over the years, and I’ve tried to pay this strangers’ kindness forward whenever I had the chance, and taught my children to do the same.
A shining beacon of light, love, and hope! Thank you for sharing.