All we see is all that we want to see. But what if we’d look inside and brought it back out? We’d set a “new trend”. For instance if we really can’t see beauty anymore let’s look for it because it sure is somewhere and my bet is that it isn’t very far away, nor is it out of reach. Let’s put the bad guys out of business, let’s shame them into being better human beings. How? Let’s radicalize kindness. For every “fuck you” we’ll say an “I love you” for every silence we will smile and wave, say please and thank you. That’s common sense, common courtesy right? But it is fading away because some people that if they are not explicitly required they shouldn’t bother. We’ll from now on this is trendy, fashionable and an existential requirement in the society. Manners are back in style!
For every push and shove we will say “excuse me”, for every horn blaring we will abstain from lifting the middle finger, we’ll just pass by and smile. Nothing makes angry people angrier than happy, polite, kind and patient people.
For example I have some neighbors that keep on turning and twisting when I pass by, trying to avoid acknowledging me. I made of this a mission: I stop, look at them and say hello, waving and cheering like they are my favorite people in the whole world.
Today I was walking with my mom and at an intersection there was a cyclist that was waiting for a long time for some cars to stop and let him on the lane. I said : “Mom, let’s help this guy out”! We closed in to the border of the sidewalk and cars slowed down, the guy passed and we were happy to have helped. Did he wave? No. Did he smile? No. Did he say “thank you”? No. Does it matter? Well no. For the time being we were happy to do a good did. If he wasn’t grateful it sure isn’t our problem. Of course it stung to be kind and not being acknowledged but the point is that we don’t seek to be recognized, just to make the world that surrounds us a better, kinder place. And we did.
I admit that even if I don’t drive, I often have the urge to get my head out of the car’s window and shout some profanities to the ones that are insensitive, but it doesn’t help. It doesn’t help anymore because the charm of being offensive like a Latin people and gesture mightily in traffic, screaming at the others, was funny for a while. But I discovered that in fact that doesn’t relieve me like it used to. I feel more wound up and more stressed, even more violent after proceeding with the common reaction of cussing and swearing at people that I perceive as being imbeciles. What to do? Change of plans! From now on, the more you offend, the less civil you are, the nicer I will be. The balance of power is reinstated!
I bet that I know more kind word and gestures than you know cusses and have bad manners. “Wanna” bet me? Game on!
My point here is that if we can radicalize everything, we sure can radicalize good manners, good judgement, good behavior, niceties, gentleness and grace.
The “bad guys win because we let them, because we encourage them, by doing the same not the reverse.
This tactic isn’t helping and it doesn’t work for us so much… Does it?
So the best choice of action is to grab our manners on our way out and stick to them like superglue.
Have a nice week!