I read a post by Miss Zoot this morning about a random act of kindness – a woman offered her an umbrella when she was walking through the rain with her two kids. In the same post, she spoke of another act that she had been on the receiving end of that wasn’t so kind. Both of these elicited strong feelings and it got me thinking about the kind of person I am.
Would I sacrifice my own umbrella to give it to a woman carrying two kids in the rain? I’m not sure. Am I generally a kind person? Yes, I think I am. Do I have those moments when I’m too busy and rushed and glare at the woman who slows me down in the aisle at Target? Um, yeah, sadly I do.
As I said, I’m generally a kind person. I want to see the good in everybody. There are people out there in the world who don’t have an ounce of kindness in them and think only about themselves. There are people who do nothing but complain about those around them, looking for the negative in everything. I even try to find the good in those people. Maybe they just had a bad morning. Maybe they spilled coffee on their last pair of clean clothes. Maybe their kid woke them up twelve times the night before. Who knows?
No matter what negative thing a person has done or said, I want to defend them, come up with some reason that made them the way they are. When they complain about something someone else has done, I want to defend the person that the negativity is being spewed at. I guess I’m just a “look on the bright side” kind of person. I assume there is always a reason for that person to be bitter, that it isn’t just some kind of huge character flaw that leaves them that way.
There are times when I become that negative person. I know I can be selfish and sometimes only think of myself and my own agenda, but when I realize I’m doing it I feel horrible. I want to be that little ray of sunshine that always leaves people with a positive feeling. I want to leave behind a trail of happiness and warmth with every encounter I have with another person, and I want my children to strive for the same thing.
Sometimes I think my shyness/social phobia really prohibits me from doing the good deeds I would like to do. Even when I want to step out of my comfort zone and help someone else, I can’t always make myself do it. See, I would want to be the woman who offered her umbrella to a mom and two kids getting soaked in the rain, but I’m not sure I could actually do it. It would require talking to a person I don’t know, unsolicited, which for some reason strikes me with a crazy, irrational fear.
Is being a generally kind person and wanting to take that risk enough if I can’t/don’t follow through? I’m not sure that it is. What do you think? Would you offer your umbrella?