It all started with an incident at the kids’ school. One morning when I pulled up in front of the school a car was honking behind me, a woman signaling that I should move further along the drop off line. Yes, there was place further along but it was not authorized space for drop off and in my opinion not as safe so I decided to stay put.
While the kids were getting out she got out of the car behind me, went up to me and started screaming that I was holding up the line and because of me she would be late for work. I tried to point out that for her to get out of her car and spending time screaming at me was taking her much more time than just to wait the ten seconds it takes my kids to get out of the car, but I guess that she wasn’t really in the listening mood.
Having someone scream at you is not nice, especially someone you don’t even know. I realized that it wasn’t personal and that there is probably more than one reason why she acted like she did.
I think that we all have a big saying in dealing with the world around us. In most situations where we have to interact with others, we personally have a big say in how to approach the situation and even its outcome. Because of that I have started my own little social project.
The project is really simple; to purposely being nice to people I meet on my way, also those I don’t know. It is something as small as to smile, say hello or thank you. I have found that it makes a huge impact and more often than not, I get a positive response in return. It sounds quite banal really, but often we forget the small effort that it is to be nice and what a huge effect it can have.
There are so many situations that could benefit from this. I am sure that if that woman had waited just those extra few seconds (even though I probably was a bit annoying for holding up the line) instead of getting angry, I am sure that both her day as well as mine would have been much better after that. So this is my little social experiment. Want to join?