i had a crush on glen campbell. 1970s. i was 11. i was 13. i was 16. i was eking into 20. he was the rhinestone cowboy, a clean-cut country singer with penetrating eyes, a guitar and a smooth voice.
the moment i saw this bumper sticker on an suv in a parking lot i could hear the song he rocketed into the charts “try a little kindness”…
“you’ve got to try a little kindness
yes, show a little kindness
just shine your light for everyone to see
and if you try a little kindness
then you’ll overlook the blindness
of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets“
(Bobby Austin / Curt Sapaugh)
the lyrics seemed obvious, even back then. but now, more so.
we avoided four events of road aggression yesterday. and we barely were out and about. it’s disconcerting, particularly in this season of light. but these last years – in particular – have made aggression socially acceptable. they have made anger rise up and people pummel others with words and actions. pushing back – equally as aggressively – is dangerous…in any arena.
january 2, 2021 the sheridan press: “with all that happened in 2020, it’d be easy to kick off 2021 with a literal kick — a kick in the teeth, a kick in the rear or perhaps by kicking in the door. none of those kicks, though, would solve the woes of 2020, even if they made you feel better in the short term. so rather than start the new year with a kick, consider starting 2021 with a different act of defiance. start it off with grace, peace and civility.”
a different act of defiance. though strikingly resonant for us related to 2020 moving into that next new year, the words in the sheridan press in the beginning of 2021 are no less relevant now as we approach 2023. ever more important to try a little kindness.
i picked up two packs of tissue paper in target. neither brand was priced, but they were those packs of 100 pieces of tissue – perfect for the season of wrapping and perfect for david’s studio. we have found this is a good time to buy tissue paper. because the display shelf also had no price tag, i figured i would check out each and then choose the least expensive, asking the self-checkout-helper-person to delete the pack we didn’t want. so we did just that. and we thanked the nice helper-person who helped – the people who miraculously show up when you touch “need assistance” on the touch screen.
we passed her on the way out and stopped and thanked her again before we left, adding a wish for happy holidays.
she was astonished. she stood there – glowing – and wished us a lovely holiday. we all smiled and exchanged parting pleasantries.
we talked about it all the way home. it was not a reach to say “thank you”, to express gratitude to someone doing their job, to be kind. kindness begets kindness. it’s not complicated. at all.
“…a simple act of kindness can feel revolutionary.”