Kindness. It’s one of those things we’re taught when we’re young and hopefully practice for our whole lives. It seems more often than not that people have become too distracted or caught up in their own selves to do so. You’re never too important, nor too busy, to treat people with kindness.
It was a Friday. It was a long day, one where I felt like throwing in the towel, and I was ready to go home. I decided to go to the galley to grab some chow before it closed.
Whenever greeting people in passing, I tend to say, “How’s it goin’, man?” The more rank they hold on their chest, the more professionally I speak, but I still try to keep it sincere. When the question is reciprocated, I usually reply back, “It’s goin'” with a big grin; because things might be hard but I can still find a reason to smile.
I got in line and greeted the servers, “Happy Friday, guys. How’re we doing?” The banter and small talk continued as they placed the food on my plate. One of the servers, a young woman, kept smiling real wide (or as I call it cheesin’.) She said, “I like the way you talk.” I laughed, thinking she meant my accent and told her I was from Boston. She shook her head and said, “No, not that. The way you treat people, the way you talk to us. It’s pleasant.” I won’t lie to you, it kind of shocked me and I could feel myself blushing as I sheepishly thanked her. Leaving, I gave them my regular Friday spiel as I do to everyone, to have a good weekend and be safe.
If you know me, you know I’m a real people-person and a huge fan of genuine interactions. It’s those moments, those connections, that make life worth it. This one humbled me. It reminded me to not just be nice but to be kind, so much so that it’s natural and not forced. I want to ask you how you are and actually mean it. I want to find out your name and use it while talking to you. I want you to feel like you can reach out to me when you need me, no matter how long we’ve known each other.
To that CS2 at the NASWI Galley, if somehow you see this, thank you. This one’s for you.