I recall walking to the bus station in a semi-rural part of kent, in England. The road was deserted and as I was about to cross I suddenly noted a possibly middle aged man on the opposite side of the road. His long dark hair appeared unkempt, it may however have been his style. There were other features I had, ashamedly, judged him by. My unconscious bias triggered a thought: rough looking, sturdily built, he may have violent tendencies. Another part of my brain braced my anxious emotions and I deemed it better and respectful as I ought to all men, to greet him. His response was shocking!
He replied with a spontaneous “good morning” and immediately added, as he beamed in apparent joy, “Someone said good morning to me in England!” He seemed ready to dance as he walked on repeating with a glad tone, someone said good morning to him in England. My undoubted shocked expression transformed in seconds to a smile from the depths of my heart. I felt I had caught the same bounce in his steps. I had taken a “risk”, by talking to a stranger I had erroneously perceived to be a threat. I felt ashamed for misjudging him and was pleased my risk turned out to be pleasantly rewarding! He was happy and so was I and it had cost me mental energy that I could easily afford as well as earning a lesson to be less judgemental! I hoped the rest of the day went well for him and if it didn’t I had at least made a part happier and I was happier too!
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Theodore Roosevelt.
Little acts of kindness show people one cares. Opportunities abound daily to reach out in love: a truthful “how are you?”, a quick caring text. Show someone you care with a little act of kindness. It often costs very little if anything at all!