How sad is it that I’m completely baffled when someone is really nice?
I stand in this sort of confused trance where I try to comprehend how there are actually still some nice people out there.
The other day, I was trying to reserve and pay for a ticket on an airline. There was a problem that sent me on an anxious frenzy. I hadn’t yelled at the airline (like most people would do) or to the payment office responsible for the mistake, but my close friends knew the chaotic state I was in. There was a significant chance that I would have to repay the full price of my already paid ticket. After a few anxious calls, the airline dealt with the payment office and fixed the problem. Even after I probably annoyed the staff by calling so many times, they were just as super nice every single time.
It’s an airline – a company with a reputation, you say. They have to be nice, right?
What about all the other million times where a company’s staff or employees weren’t nice?
I actually ended up calling back to thank the airline’s employees for their kindness – a trait I have sadly not been treated with very often.
It doesn’t seem like I’m the only one, though.
While driving to university a few months back, I came across an elder pedestrian. He wanted to cross the street, and was waiting for me to pass on so he could cross. I had stopped the car waiting for him to cross, and he stared at me in disbelief.
I could practically read the thoughts going through his head.
“Is she really going to let me cross?”
“Wow, why did she stop?”
“Could it be that she’s really not honking her horn at me, and actually waiting for me to cross?”
Just enough, after those few seconds of disbelief, a huge expression of joy and comfort came across his face. He started thanking me, and even teared up in happiness!
And for what!? For waiting just a few seconds for him to cross the street. I’m not kidding, it wasn’t even a minute.
Is it really that rare in our community for someone to show some courtesy? This is probably a unique example, but if something as simple as waiting for someone to cross the street has become extinct; what else no longer exists?
Us humans, we praise ourselves on our “humanity.” You know, that thing that is supposed to be a synonym for compassion and sympathy. Yet, we discriminate against those who aren’t exactly like us, hate on each other, insult one another, and kill each other.
What a pathetic species we are.
Maybe we don’t have to be pathetic though. It’s not as hard as we all seem to think. All it really takes is some random acts of kindness.
Open a door for someone, pull out their chair, offer to pay a bill for a stranger, wait for someone to cross the street rather than honking your horn at them, smile at that waiter who has been rude all through your dinner because they’ve probably had a bad day, defend someone being discriminated against, don’t discriminate, etc.
Just, you know, be nice.
Let’s try to restore tolerance, compassion, and mercy in our so-called humanity, and re-acknowledge that human dignity we’re all born with.
– By our regional intern, Ahlam Awada at the World Youth Alliance – Middle East