#45 Single Serving Kindness

Story 1: I am waiting for you.

Architecture, Building, Infrastructure, City, Urban

I took bus to work everyday. It gets cold and rainy in Seattle, such as today.

I took off work, waiting for traffic light, and saw my bus stopping at the bus stop from distance. I was upset and sad, thinking to myself, “I guess I have to stand in this weather for another 15 minutes now. And I can’t do anything about it.”

When the light turned green, the bus was still there, I started running towards the bus. The bus was still there. I kept running until I get onto the bus, out of breath.

The bus driver said, “Don’t worry, I saw you running. I am waiting for you.” When I got off the bus, I told the driver that that is the nicest thing in my new year.

We live in our own head at times, thinking about how are we gonna make positive impact, make the world a better place, what’s the next best thing we can do to increase our impact.

When you feel like you can’t do much, being a kind, nice person, be that random stranger that do nice things. And that certainly makes the world a better place.

Story 2: One month resolution

two blue and gray pillows on gray surface

Last Thursday, Jason and I went to a friend’s place. We were talking about New Year’s Resolutions. Monica said, “I have a one month resolution. I am gonna say hi to strangers in the elevator.”, she took a sip of her rose, “You know, as my personal action to fight Seattle Freeze .”

I love that idea.

Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.

John F. Kennedy

Everyone can benefit from a nicer, kinder society. And how is that society formed? By everyone of us who live in it. Let’s imagine Monica starts a movement “Elevator Hi“, which got viral, which inspired people to all be a little more friendly to strangers, in and beyond elevators.

We hold doors for each others. Bus drivers wait for you when they see you running. Your coffee shop desk-mate look after your stuff when you go to the bathroom. How would that make you feel?

Are you providing single serving kindness? If not, would you?

Story 3: What you say when your son misbehave?

The other day, I read about Andrew Yang‘s post: “Today my son is misbehaving. I told him to be nice. He asked me why. I told him that if people don’t want to spend time with you, it’s very hard to be happy.

When I first read that, I thought, aww that’s cute.

Then this little story really stick with me. Yes, as an adult, one probably can do a lot of things by oneself: you don’t have to rely on anyone most of the time. But one can only go this far by oneself. One person won’t really achieve great impact if he/she don’t work with other people, inspire other people, learn from other people, and benefit other people.

It is not just about being happy, it is about live a meaningful life. The meaning of life is half from fulfilling our heart, half from serving the people around us.

I have made mistakes in this area. In 2019, I spent a lot of time writing blogs by myself. It was one of the most fulfilling times of my life. Writing is a lonely task, but I did enjoy that. At times, I also told others and myself, “I am an introvert and I don’t like people.”

Girls on Desk Looking at Notebook

But at the end of the year, I felt like I ran out of inspirations. The reason is that I have lost touch with people, who inspired me to write in the first place.

I started writing to share what I have learned in my life, with the people that matter to me. I have the chance to have deeper conversations with them because of the pre-thinking I did. That has been very valuable. As time pass by, people start to read less, my friends got senior in their jobs, got married, became parents. They don’t have time to read as much.

I realized that what I really wanted to do is not writing, but to inspire people. And when people evolve, the form needs to, too.

So in 2020, I decided to make a social goal: To meet friends in Seattle in person, to call friends and families on weekly basis, exchange emails with my in-laws, text my friends when I see something of their interest, write thoughtful comments to friends’ social media post rather than mindless scrolling.

My writing can exist in blogs. My writing can also exist in all the above forms. What matters is the people.

Thank you for reading! I hope you live a fulfilling life.

If this blog interests you, here is the Table of Contents of the rest of blogs in my #52WeeksOfWriting challenge.

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