We were inspired to write this article by this New York Times article.
“Driving is governed by law, but it’s also shaped by norms. If enough people adopt the same driving style, then that behavior hardens into a communal disposition. Once people understand what is normal around here, more people tend to drive that way, too, and you get this amplified, snowball effect. Kindness breeds kindness. Aggression breeds aggression.”
Life is meant to be lived consciously, with love and kindness. The behavioral choices we make each day serve as a role model for others, affecting both their lives and our own. Here’s a wonderful true story that illustrates my point:
A woman boarded a bus with her young son. The bus driver refused to let her remain on the bus because her ticket did not have enough money on it, even though her son had a student card that covered his bus fare. This unexpected problem was going to force the young boy to be late to school and would have also left the mother and son stranded at the bus stop.
Seeing this situation, a woman who was a stranger to the mother and her son got up from her seat and paid for them so that the young boy could get to school on time. The mom thanked this kind, generous woman and a few weeks later, she again saw her “benefactor” on the bus. Her son walked up to the woman who had “saved his day” and gave her a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card to show his appreciation for her kindness.
The woman thought that this was the nicest gesture ever, plus, all the people on the bus were witnesses to this new, kinder way of “paying it forward” which also made their day!
Be consciously loving and kind without expectation of return, even if it is simply to open the door for someone or to pay a compliment. You may eventually get to witness how your act of loving kindness inspired a person to “pass it forward,” and keep the faith (along with Pope Francis!) that you are an artisan of the common good!