“Always be a little kinder than necessary.”
It’s time to get real. London is turning me into a dick.
I’ve always been a stickler for being polite because I don’t think there’s any reason not to be. I mean, I’m a sensitive person who takes things really seriously, so of course I think politeness is important. It’s just nice to be nice, isn’t it?
Lately though I’ve noticed myself slipping into the habits I can’t stand in other people. I’ve been taking less time to be kind and more time to sigh and huff and get annoyed with the person dragging their suitcase really slowly in front of me. I mean, come on, just carry it!
It’s really easy to get annoyed with people in London because it seems like everyone is annoyed at you. People push past you, so you do the same to them. Why would you be nice to someone who would shove you out of the way to squeeze into that already full tube carriage?
Living in a city that moves so fast and doesn’t stop to take a breath, I feel I’ve had no choice but to harden up a bit. I don’t worry anymore what other people think of me because, chances are, I’ll never see them again. I don’t care if I knock someone as I rush for the escalator because I’m already at the top. And I don’t really want to give up my seat to anyone because I’m tired and I haven’t snacked for an hour. I don’t smile at people, I scowl at the world and carry the frustrations with me so they seem so much bigger than they really are.
But that’s not me. And I’m not sure I like this person I’m becoming.
So this is a reminder to myself to be kind. A reminder that everyone is fighting their own battles. A reminder that small gestures can have a huge impact. A reminder that it feels so much better to be kind than to be rude or impolite or angry at people you don’t even know.
Whether it’s offering your seat to someone on the tube, saying thank you to the person serving you in a shop, or making dinner for a friend who needs it, these small acts of kindness go a long way. And just maybe, if we all tried to be a bit kinder than necessary, the world would be nicer place live in, and we’d have to deal with fewer inconsiderate people ruining our day by being unnecessarily rude. Maybe not, but it’s worth a try at least.
If you liked reading this note, why not take a look through my Notes to Self series, a (mostly) weekly series of posts helping remind you, me, us to take better care of ourselves.