I walk around my neighborhood, yes, and I’ve talked about that—but I don’t think I’ve mentioned how many friends I made doing that. I’m known, now, and people stop to talk to me—they learned my name, they ask how I’m doing. It’s wonderful, and, as an ode to them, and to people all over, let me take a few paragraphs to thank anyone, and everyone, who is kind, who is nice, who stops to properly ask how someone is truly doing.
Because, and boy does it sound sappy, people choose whether to be kind, to be considerate, to be the kind of people who make me smile now. A few years ago, I never thought I’d be so lucky as to be where I am, to know the people I do, and to have some many kind faces that I’m happy to see—and, sure, I did a lot to earn what I have, but I would be nowhere without the kindness of strangers, of family, of people around me.
There’s a lot of sources: internet, news, movies, that make it seem like a lot of people are assholes, that strangers can’t be trusted, and that humans are not all that decent. I’ve found the reverse to be true almost every time. I’m not inherently trusting, I don’t think, but people keep proving to me that we are almost always just human beings, of different ages, sizes, sexualities, and so on and so forth, trying to make our way in the world.
While it may take a lot of effort to actively hate something, I think the nearly similar effort it takes to be truly kind and truly good towards your fellow man is a nobler investment in time. And the people I come across who do it, who live their busy lives full of their own issues but still take the time to say hi to the passing weird neighbor who is seen randomly sprinting around and sometimes talking to himself, those people I want to thank. Even if none of them read this, I’ll know that I wrote them a letter of gratitude. And I hope I manage to remain a kind enough person to be worth stopping to say hi to for the rest of my life.
Special thanks to: Melissa Potter
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