Random Acts of Kindness

I read a story the other day about a girl who received flowers off a
random guy while waiting at the bus stop. The girl went on to explain the reasoning behind this kind gesture; the man had seen scars on her rak8arms from previous self harming. He felt so saddened by this that he approached the girl and asked her to stop hurting herself. He told her that everything in life will work out in the end. The flowers were originally for his wife but he believed that the girl deserved them more in order to prove that there are people in the world who care.

This gesture really made me believe that despite all of the horrible stories that we are bombarded with on a daily basis, there are still some good things happening in the world. This is thanks to kind people like this guy at the bus stop. The bittersweet aspect of this story however is that it would never make it into any newspaper or magazine no matter how small or local either was. No wonder people are so cautious and guarded, we are only ever told the bad parts. Misery appears to sell the copies!

This got me thinking; in today’s society, if you were in a public place, say on public transport or queuing in a shop and you were to turn and smile at some-one simply because you both made eye contact, one of three things would be likely to happen:

1. You would receive a look in return that indicated you were a complete lunatic. The ‘smilee’ (the person receiving the smile) would look slightly scared and would be likely to avoid any form of further eye contact with you.

2. There would be the assumption that you were hitting on the ‘smilee’ and of course you want to rip there clothes off (yes because Irish guys are all just that attractive, I don’t know how we resist sometimes!) Chances are you would then have to endure the remainder of the journey or queue trying to avoid further eye contact with them.

Fortunately this tends to be less prevalent amongst women, gay or straight. I don’t think there is the automatic assumption that you want to hook up over a smile, as crazy as that may sound to the male species!

3. Finally the third thing that could result from your innocent, unassuming smile, is the infamous ‘dirty look’ which may lead onto the ever so Irish action of ‘getting started on’ To be fair however, this option is probably dependent on and the individual who you’ve smiled at!

The point I am trying to make here is when did it become so unacceptable to be nice to someone you don’t know? Now don’t get me wrong, there is a difference between being friendly and being creepy, the latter deserving response 1. and in some cases response 3. depending on the level of creepiness and motive behind their actions. For those of us however who do not have ulterior motives, why is it considered weird to be nice for no other reason but to be nice?

Everyone has their own issues to deal with at the end of the day so even a small kind gesture like the one previously mentioned, may cheer someone up. Now I am not claiming that if everyone was to smile at one another that all the problems in the world would disappear, but wouldn’t being even a little nicer make the world just a little easier to live in?

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