It’s been a week. I’m in New York City working and between the busyness of the job, the early signs of a cold and the omnipresent aggressive grind that’s synonymous with this city, I’m worn out. Yesterday had been a day of dealing with gridlock traffic causing delays on the job and approaching people with a friendly demeanor only to receive a negative reaction in response; by the end of the day, impatience and surliness had rubbed off on me. I met my sister for dinner, who had had an equally long and grueling day. As we left the restaurant, exhausted and anxious to get to bed, we found ourselves stuck behind a group of slow moving women, My first reaction was to whine inwardly about not getting out of the restaurant fast enough to go pass out in my warm bed. And then I looked up at a sign next to the exit. I don’t remember the exact words, but it was something to the effect of, “be kind, everybody is fighting a battle,” At that moment, I noticed that one of the women was using a walker and her companions had slowed to her speed. I thought about how maybe this was a rare night out. Maybe this woman was normally in a wheelchair and this was a triumph to use a walker. I didn’t know their story, but I knew I instantly felt awful about being salty about feeling inconvenienced by another human literally doing nothing to me in the greater scheme of things.
I thought back to something that Deirdre had said earlier this week: “No matter who I work with and what their values might be, I never let go of mine and who I am.” The city, the grind, the people around us, what have you, can break us down and throw impatience, unfriendliness, unkindness, the whole Pandora’s Box of unsavory at us, but does that mean we have to reciprocate? That we have to compromise who we are to keep up? No, no it does not…at least in my book. So today is a new day and I have my values tucked back soundly into my pocket. The city may throw me salty curveballs, but I can turn them into kindness home runs. After all, I agree with Deirdre when she says that kindness is a powerful quality or choice and today I will commit to making that choice. After all, kindness need not be mistaken for weakness, right? Let’s get ’em!
P.S. This photo was taken exactly two years ago today. Looking forward to heading up to this beautiful, New England spot this weekend to really recharge and reset.