Monday, October 13, 2008

What Happened To Kindness

I have been wondering lately whatever happened to human kindness. Has kindness died? Being polite, showing manners is a lost art. Did humans stuff kindness, politeness and manners in the closet with compassion? Kindness has become a lost commodity.
While in the grocery store yesterday, an elderly lady was trying to reach a canned good from a top shelf, She kept trying, but failed each attempt, as she was too short. I witnessed from down the isle a bit, 3 different people right next to her, oblivious to anyone but themselves, never attempting to help her.

I walk to the end of the isle where she was and retrieved what she was reaching for. She was very appreciative, and said a nice thank you, then we continued on with our shopping. The other shoppers seemed to not even notice. What makes people not notice, or do they notice, but are afraid to give a helping hand?
Last week as we arrived at the park to start our dog training classes. A picnic table is sitting right inside the gate, several people around the table, others within a few feet conversing with each other. While one lady sitting in a wheelchair, next to the table, dropped several belongings.

My husband and I had just entered the park, and even though we were the furthest away from her, it was my husband who ran to her to retrieve her belongings. It would have been just as easy if the person just a couple feet away from her to help her. I know they had seen what had happened, as they were facing her, but they were too engaged in their conversation to be bothered.
Is it too difficult to hold the door open when someone is walking in behind you? What about offering a friendly smile to the stranger passing by on the sidewalk? Letting that person behind you in the check out lane that only has one item; in front of you?

My mom took her watch to the place she bought it from, to have a new battery put in. The clerk told her they don't sell that watch anymore, so they can not replace the battery for her. She purchased the battery there. There were no other customers in line, it would have taken all but a minute for the clerk to replace the battery. The clerk sees an elderly lady in a walker come in and ask to have a battery replaced. Why couldn't she take the time? The act of human kindness is so rare anymore.

Has our society become so fast paced, that we as humans are becoming so engrossed and selfish with our own lives that we have lost the ability to take the time to be kind?

Your every word, thoughts, and deeds will change a life of someone, somewhere. Small things make a difference. When you extend human kindness to one person, you may never know how many peoples lives you may have changed. Sometimes that one act of kindness, generous act, or good deed, no matter how small will be the one thing that changed that persons life for the better, or it may be the one thing that made them smile that day.


elsie said...

i wonder that too.
kindness, common courtesy, respect; all these values our parents tried to instill in us all seem to be out of practice. not lost, just, tucked away in a closet somewhere. it's time to get them back into circulation! let it start with me.

thanks for posting this, t.

Shirla said...

I wonder too. I try to help anyone that needs help. I've also been on the receive end of needing a little helpping hand, be it reaching for something on the top shelve in the grocery store or holding the door open for me when I have my hands full of shopping bags.
Just about every time I go to Walmart someone will ask me to help them get an item off a top shelve. Just this passed Friday an elderly man was in the Halloween candy section looking for Chick-A-Sticks, I has just walked into that section when he turned to me and asked me if I knew if they had that kind of candy in there. I just happened to look down and there they were. He was thrilled! He said he had been walking around that section for a good 5 minutes looking for them. I'm more then happy to lend a hand when needed.

Dog_geek said...

What a thoughtful post, with some of my favorite quotes. Every time I start despairing about a lack of compassion out there, someone surprises me with an act of such kindness and generosity, that it restores my faith.

Betty said...

Thanks for posting this...I think many of us wonder what's happening to kindness. I agree with every single thing you said. And I do try to help whenever I am able to. By the way, I left a message for you on my post. Take care and see you soon!

Shirla said...

Thats funny that we both make mashed potatoes and corn with meatloaf. I'm like you, no other veggie taste the same with it.

I love going to the mall. I get it from my Mama. Before she got sick that was what we did almost every Saturday, go to the mall. :)

Mrs.Ruiz said...

Thats one thing my dad taught me to just be nice, it's that simple. Yes my animal pack is getting along all except for my queen bee cat, her name is Sammy and I have had her the longest. She does not like the other animals she will tolerate them but wants no part of them. Every now and then she will come out from isolation and beat the others up I guess just to show that she runs things:)My baby cat likes to mess with Sammy and chase her around the house, but quickly gets smacked for it. Sammy is the only one aloud to go outside. Iknow she doesnt go far and will come back