I was Miss Sourpuss the other day …..irritated by just about anything and everything …the person I smiled at, who did not smile back; the idiot behind me in the car, who saw my indicator as I approached a spot to parallel park in, and yet stayed put, on my tail, preventing me from reversing; the shop attendant who sees you come in, makes eye contact, but proceeds to ignore you; the pontificating of people  …..you get the gist. I was contemplating why I was so ‘irritable’, mumbling to myself …when in a split second it all changed. Well, not a split second …

Opportunity knocked

At my last stop, the local small green grocer’s an elderly (very) gentleman was obviously buying his weekend supplies ….chatting away to the very young cashier who was trying desperately to concentrate on the cash machine – stopping often to ask her mother what the price of things were – and yet remaining polite and engaged with her customer’s chatter ….(given my mood, I was ready to explode) …then this man did the most unusual thing. He tipped her! For doing such a “conscientious job and being such a help to her mother”! The girl was completely flustered (this is NOT done in NL), and in no time I had this HUGE smile on my face ….and the rest of the day was all the better for it.

Sorry, no video to capture how one person’s kindness generates kindness in others thereafter (sure you have seen these on YouTube)…. but I know my children should be grateful that I was armed with some good cheer when their own ‘puberty’ hormones went into action that afternoon. I just smiled, recalled the act of generosity and thought, ‘laat maar’ (never mind)…..the world can be good, and life is too short to stay ‘sour’.

Constant reminder

In subsequent days, when I found myself going into ‘sourpuss’ mood I gave a complete stranger a big old smile, said thank you out loud to the bus driver as I stepped out of the bus, held doors open for complete strangers  – and then rode the happy cloud their responses gave me to carry me through the day. Okay – if they did not respond, I simply found another victim! 🙂

Kindness not only breeds kindness, it actually gives you energy. We all ‘know’ this at some level, but it is even more rewarding to practice it. Have decided this may well be the best resolution to me as the New Year, 2014 gets started!