Be Kinder Than Necessary

Over the past week or so people have seemed crabby, mean and inconsiderate.  I have experienced it myself and have heard of others who have had similar experiences.  For example:  the other day a woman behind me honked angrily and repeatedly at me because I stopped to let someone who was in the cross walk finish crossing the street before I turned; yesterday a woman honked, screamed and acted as if she was going to run into my friend and I in the drive through at McDonald’s (don’t panic, we were just getting diet coke) when she was not able to cut in the line in front of us;  tonight while I was walking my dog a bicyclist nastily said “bike path” to a couple walking their dog on a multi-use path going in the opposite direction.  I admit, my initial response to these people was pretty negative.  To the bicyclist I responded “asshole” and in that moment I really hoped that he heard me.  This really doesn’t make me any better than he is.

Friends have reported observing people behaving badly as well.  A friend of mine told me a story about a drunk woman at a concert recently that spilled an entire beer on a stranger and laughed without even sincerely apologizing.  At work someone hit a coworker’s car in the parking lot damaging it without leaving a note.  People’s bad behavior has also been in the news. Yesterday I heard a story about a group of vandals that did $10,000 worth of damage to the century old lily pond in Balboa Park in San Diego damaging the beautiful water lilies and the plumbing, nearly draining the pond.  This  nearly killed the fish and turtles living in the pond.  All this to participate in a water fight that someone had promoted on Twitter.

I am not sure if it is the heat, the waning summer, the phase of the moon or people acting out as a result of their own problems, but people seem on edge and human decency seems optional for some.

I have several signs in my office.  They are more to remind me of the way I want to act than anything else.  One of them says  “Be Kinder Than Necessary”.  I wish I would have remembered that sign before the “asshole” response, hopefully next time I will.   Responding to negativity with negativity does not accomplish much of anything other than perpetuating negativity and we have enough of that around now.

I am going to try to be kinder than necessary and hope that it rubs off on some of the people who seem be suffering from a case of the nasties now.  Maybe you can join me.  Maybe we should promote the idea on Twitter!

Find Your Om Balance – Terri


  1. I am extraordinarily bad at this.

  2. 1. Jessica- you are not bad at this! We wouldn’t be friends if you weren’t kind.
    2. No one is perfect and as long as we try to be kind-
    3. There is no small act of kindness.

  3. “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”
    Dalai Lama