MKE Week 16 – Say What? That’s a Kindness???

Read More Posts by Ramona Ayala 

Category:  Week Sixteen


minutes remaining

This week’s exercise in kindness kinda threw me for a few loops. The good news; I developed a positivity bias.

Watching the webinar, I was all excited as I heard different acts/behaviors that count and I could rack up submitted comments. As I read other submissions, I thought “That counts!?!? Yeah, baby! This is gonna be easy!” Then the heat of excitement passed and I began questioning.

Wait a minute. These things are just manners and expected behaviors in a polite, civil society. I questioned whether, the fact of the matter is that, manners are indeed dead. How sad that the world has lost common courtesy and manners.

Really? Using a turn signal is kindness? It’s the freaking law. Then the exercise became not so easy because I wrestled with attributing some actions as kindness. These should be expected behaviors. I felt that some are things we are all supposed to do. (but…says who?)

Picking up trash in the parking lot is just something I do. Do I recognize it as a kindness? Yes. Someone has to do it and by me doing it I am helping that person. Grabbing stray carts is something I just do. Is it a kindness? Of course. The employee who has cart duty has to go gather all those stray carts; my little act makes that person’s day a little easier.

And I kept thinking. What are manners? What are common courtesies? Where are they learned?

Did I always do it? Where did I learn it? Why doesn’t everyone do it? Do we really need to legislate this stuff? Do we WANT manners legislated… micro-managed by the government?

I sure don’t. I don’t want to return to the Victorian Age where a woman couldn’t show her ankles. There have been and are many “manners, courtesy, consideration of others” rules, both official and societal, in the world I do not want imposed on me. Governments legislating manners is a slippery slope.

Our parents are our first teachers of manners. What about children who grow up in families with “no” manners or different manners that I don’t like? I know for a fact there were people who thought my parents, siblings and I had poor or no manners.

But I learned how to say please, thank you and more. We learn more from others around us. Are they good or bad manners? I’ve learned that can depend on the eye of the beholder.

The military taught me “police call”… it’s literally a thing… official, lawful orders are given to whomever and they must follow orders and pick up all the trash in a designated area and properly dispose of them.

We are taught to police after ourselves at all times. Geocachers have a “Cache In, Trash Out” motto… as geocachers, we carry trash bags and pick up trash where we’re trekking, carry it out with us and dispose of it properly.

Backpack camping, same thing… that is why your weight and how you pack is so important because you never leave trash on the trail… everything you carry in comes out with you.

Does that mean everyone does it? Heck no. People don’t follow the “rules”. And that’s why we grumble in traffic at the person who doesn’t use their turn signal.

That’s why we grumble when we see the trash tumbling down the street or flying in our yard… other people’s trash flying into my yard… grumble grumble grumble. Disgusting, nasty, rude humans. Light bulb!

What’s the opposite of rude? Kind.

And there I was, in traffic one day. Traffic is just flowing, turn signals blinking, no horns honking, no accidents. I finally realized everyone was being kind. Yes, using a turn signal is kind. Staying in your lane is kind. And I witnessed hundreds of people doing it in a matter of minutes.

It’s exactly the same as has been repeatedly pointed out to us in this course, how we focus on the one red mark versus the 19 green marks on a report. We are focused on that one person who didn’t use their turn signal—not the hundreds who do. And there it is.

Kindness (manners, common courtesies, consideration of others) IS surrounding us. It really is simply up to us to observe and acknowledge it. Notice those 19 green marks and not grumble about the one red.

And remember the one Law of Giving; I promise to be a grateful receiver of the gifts that surround me, pausing often, noticing nature, KINDNESS, smiles, compliments, which I gladly receive with a thank you.

How many people have you silently (or out loud) thanked for using their turn signal or staying in their lane while in traffic?

With that many thank yous while I drive, I’ll be sounding like the “Dr., Dr., Dr., Dr., ……” scene from the movie “Spies Like Us”.

And I as I strive for 20 green marks, I also find the green marks of everyone around me.

Thank you, KINDNESS week, for giving me a positivity bias on this.

Meet Ramona Ayala

Creator. Explorer. Adventurer. Inspirer. Gatherer. Leader. Now is all there is, all there ever was and all there ever will be. I am moving forward and never looking back.

Enjoyed this post? 

You can find more great content here:

  • Me talking to myself and answering helps me…out loud conversations with myself. LOL…people used to say it was ok to talk to yourself…it was only a problem if you started answering yourself. uh oh on me. lol

  • I think this will be a lifetime pondering, Robert. Thank you for sharing that I am not alone in my “say what?”

  • Thanks for the interesting blog. I thought the same as you as I started out wondering about the difference between manners and kindness.

  • Ramona, I love how you developed the big picture perspective out of this week. We are surrounded with kindness and love, aren’t we? Just gotta see it! And you did a great job of explaining how we can sharpen our focus.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    A Special Gift for You!

    Uncover the ONE secret for Less Stress and More Happiness in your life!