An Act of Kindness

I watched a man move a piece of litter in the roadway this morning. He stopped just shy a few feet from the object. I couldn’t make out what the piece of litter was but it must have measured a couple feet across, was thin and red, and appeared to be rigid.

The man waited a couple of minutes for traffic to pass, got out of his vehicle and walked over to the item. He picked it up and carried it off the road to the other side of the sidewalk so no one would be bothered with walking around or over the piece of rubbish. Anonymously he walked back to his vehicle, climbed inside and drove down the road.

This was an act of kindness. Just a little something nice one man did for all the anonymous drivers and he even had consideration for the pedestrians. It took this man a few minutes but he saw a need and acted with thoughtfulness and sensitivity toward others, and his only reward was a clear road. Many others just drove by, around or over the debris but it only took this one man to change events and prompt this article.

This small act of kindness made me think about drivers and our roadways today. More and more we are hearing about road rage. People are tired and irritated at delays in their travels on our roads. People fight and jockey for space on the road, afraid to let anyone interrupt their commute by even a few seconds. Exasperated with the time their trip takes people become hostile. Road rage doesn’t just click on without prompting, in most cases it is an accumulation of delays and what the driver perceives as injustices to them on the road that cause these feelings to bloom. In a lot of cases road rage can be contagious with other drivers feeling frustrated at the same delays and interruptions to their driving pleasure. You cut me off and because I cannot return the favor to you I will cut someone else off. You won’t let me cut into the long line of traffic so I won’t let anyone do it to me either. Why should I be nice to anyone when no one is being nice to me? It can ruin your day.

Kindness is also contagious. Some times all it takes is just one person to show kindness and start the ripple of consideration toward others. When shown kindness many people will repeat the kindness or try to pay it back through good deeds toward other people. If more people realized that we are talking about things that only take a few seconds maybe they would not find it so hard to be a nicer person on the road. Let that person cut in line once in a while, it just delays you by a few seconds. Your act of kindness just may be repeated to another person, and then that act of kindness could be repeated and so on. If we practiced this enough the world would be a better place and we would all feel better for the effort. It makes most people feel good to help someone and it also feels good to the person receiving the act of kindness. Racing to places only saves you a few seconds so slow down, take it easy and arrive happy and energized rather that frustrated and exhausted.

Bear in mind, if you are a kinder person on the road you just may stop the rage brewing in someone and halt that awful beast that is road rage. You may never know the effects of your actions but rest assured that there are consequences. Every thing you do effects the people around you and carries on through some. If you are angry, impatient and impolite others will recognize this and repeat it. If you are kind, patient and respectful it carries on in others too. It makes perfect sense to me.

It actually takes more energy to be the angry, impolite, inconsiderate type of person. Your blood pressure rises and your whole body kicks into high gear, ready for a fight. If you are the patient, polite, kind type of person you are calmer your blood pressure remains normal for you and you arrive at your destination in a happier mood ready to have a good time rather than brooding, scowling and bad-tempered.

All it takes is a few seconds and you to determine what type of day you will have. I hope you have a wonderfully calm and peaceful day, and share it with everyone!

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