Putting a little kindness into the universe
I will admit I used to be exceedingly shy. In my 20’s I would have rather done almost anything rather than speak publicly. It gave me a bit of a reputation as aloof. Which wasn’t true. If I knew you I was super friendly but if not I could barely raise my head to talk to you. Back in the days when I got licensed (I had to throw this in), we had to take an oral exam along with the written exam. I knew I had to be able to do that. So I started on my own exposure therapy plan which included me teaching some classes. It worked and I passed the exam first try and subsequent to that I would no longer consider myself shy.
However, I would not say I was very friendly either. Again if I knew you it was fine but if not…. I am not sure what shifted in me one day but I became friendly. I started to talking to people everywhere. Not on every occasion but when something came up in a grocery line I would talk to the person next to me. I even initiated conversations. And what I found was that rather than draining this introvert it actually invigorated me.
There is a lady that lives on my street (this is related I promise) who walks a lot and has always seemed rather odd. Not bad just odd. One evening she rang our doorbell and gave us a package that had been misdelivered to her house. She had made a concerted effort to bring it to our house when we were home to make sure it got to us safely. It was very nice. Ever since that day every time I pass her she waves and I wave back. In fact, the other day I passed and she was waving at me with two hands. I actually almost stopped the car because I thought something was wrong but it was just an emphatic wave. It brought a big small to my face. She has been so happy to be friendly with us in this small way. I wonder how she gets treated in the world and I know perhaps people ignore her a lot because she does come across as odd. But not looking beyond is so short sighted. We won’t be best friends ever but I think it is nice for both of us to be able to exchange our friendly wave. And when I saw her two-handed wave the other day I really realized how important this small acts of kindness are. there is a lot of negative going on in the world right now. I think it serves us all to try and put a little bit of kindness out there when we can.