The other day while I was driving home from work, traffic was really backed up near a freeway entrance. I was driving in the lane that cars were merging into and I noticed a dump truck trying to merge over into my lane. Several cars sped up to pass the truck and I could see that the driver was getting frustrated. So I slowed down a bit and gave him a gap to merge. In his side mirror I saw him smile, nod, and wave a thank you.
Not to brag, but I felt good about my tiny act of kindness. Sure, this kind of thing happens on countless roads all over the world every day. But the opposite also happens, where people are rude and selfish drivers who only care about going fast and getting ahead, no matter the cost. In that moment, I made a very simple choice: be kind. And my kindness spread. It visibly brightened the truck driver's day. It likely had an impact beyond what I could see. Perhaps the truck driver went home and was a little kinder to his family that night. Perhaps another driver saw my kindness and decided to let another driver merge later on. My simple act of kindness had the possibility of spreading like ripples in a pond when a stone is dropped into the water.
While sometimes I decide to spread kindness in the spur of the moment, most of the time it's second nature and that's because I've already decided to be kind and spread kindness whenever and wherever I can. It's not a choice I have to make daily because it's something I've already decided to do when I get the chance.
And I believe we can make the world a better, happier, kinder place if we all decide to be kind in our interactions with other human beings, other imperfect people who are struggling to pay the bills and figure out life, other souls who are seeking inner peace and happiness, other humans who struggle with debt and illness and all the hardships of the human condition. It's a simple choice to be kind. To not judge others. To meet hatred and ego and rudeness and ignorance with kindness. And while it might not change the recipient of the kindness, it will change you. You will be a better, kinder, more understanding, more loving person. And since you are part of this beautiful world, you are changing the world by being kind.
And that's why I will always choose to be kind.