Being kind has really opened my eyes to the fear that most people seem to harbour toward strangers these days. A simple act of opening a door for another person or stepping aside for them, often confuses and intimidates people. A few years ago, I was Christmas shopping at the local mall. It was a typical boiling hot Sydney day.
I went back to my car to put something in the boot and I saw a woman standing there with her grocery trolley. I didn't think anything of it.
When I returned 15 minutes later, she was still there and she was sobbing.
I approached her and asked if she was ok and whether I could be of help
She told me she couldn't find her car and she thought it might have been stolen.
I told her people often confuse where they parked and that her car was probably close by. I offered to mind her groceries whilst she walked the car park.
It was very obvious that she thought I had a hidden agenda as she quickly replied "No thanks, I'll be ok" and then continued to cry even louder.
I said ok then ... describe your car and I will search the car park for you. You can stay here in the shade or you can sit in my car with the air conditioning on.
She opted to stand in the shade.
After jogging around the car park for a few minutes I found her car. It was safe and sound, several rows away from where she was standing.
I ran back to her and told her where her car was. I was dripping with sweat but feeling good about being able to help her.
She made no eye contact, uttered no word of thanks ... she just shuffled off with her trolley toward her waiting car.
I've had many similarly negative responses from people I have showed kindness to; a fallen cyclist, a woman struggling with bags...
We have become so insulated from each other, so mistrustful.
When did we start mistaking the extension of a hand of friendship as a precursor to something evil?
The best responses I have had are from animals I have helped. We consider ourselves so superior to the other life on our planet but we seriously have so much to learn from them.
This web site is brilliant.
Help others, expect no thanks and nobody will be disappointed. Maybe eventually, people will welcome your kindness :)