I witnessed this scene recently on a sidewalk in Manhattan. It was very disturbing, and it seemed to be a small enactment of a much larger trend happening in this country. We simply can’t seem to be civil to each other.
We have become so divisive nationally and are about to become even more so. As a country, we’ve never not had divisive and painful cultural issues but, somehow, there was some dialogue, agreement to respectfully disagree (without name calling) and, occasionally, compromise.
I don’t know how we get back to those values and that willingness to treat each other as human beings again.
The older I get, the more convinced I am that two of the most powerful words in our vocabulary are “thank you”. I’m chagrined to say that they’re not really spoken enough. I’ve also heard this from friends.
It’s just so simple to say it, or to write it in a note, which is much more powerful than in an email or text. Yes, it’s quaint to write a note and put it in the mail, but a handwritten note of thanks is probably one of the nicest communications any of us can receive.
There are many recommendations for how to improve your level of happiness. I think one easy one is simply to be kind to someone else. Sometimes it takes just the smallest gesture, like holding open a door, giving up your seat on the subway or bus, letting someone with a few items at the checkout get ahead of you if you have a cart full, picking up something that’s fallen for someone whose arms are full. These are really just a few.
I’d like to think that I’m helping to raise the level of civility in society today, which is sorely in need of it.
The next time you do something, just spend an extra second thinking about how the ‘thank you’ of the person you helped made you feel. Nice, huh?