It’s the start of Kozo’s Operation Knock Off This War And Hate Business. That’s what I like to call it, but it’s really Bloggers For Peace. He gave us a challenge to write about: write about a daily/weekly gesture or act of kindness that you perform to create peace in your home and/or community.
Well, I don’t rightly know how to answer that prompt. I don’t think I necessarily do anything to promote peace on a grand scale. I don’t have a peace symbol on my car. I don’t give free hugs to strangers. I have been known to hug a tree before, but there were extenuating circumstances.
So, what do I really do to promote peace? I think it comes down to the little things. I hold doors for people I don’t even know. I say thank you, please and excuse me. I tip well at restaurants. I write thank you notes when people do nice things. I don’t leave a pile of dishes in the sink when I’ll be gone for 10 days (like my roommate did). I try to be considerate.
These are not things I actively do. They are purely instinct. I was raised that way. My parents may not have been the best parents in the world, but I was raised with manners. They are ingrained in me now.
When I go out to eat and I see children running around under tables and screaming, I cringe. I cringe not because of the disturbance, although that is a part of it, but because I think about what my mother would do to me if I ever behaved that way. If I so much as looked at her funny while we were in public, she shot me The Look™. It could stop any infraction big or small. It was powerful and portended doom. Most of the time, she didn’t have to do anything more than use it. I behaved.
It seems a lot of people these days didn’t have a mom like mine. Some parents don’t seem to care that their children are squealing feral monkeys. People are inconsiderate. People are rude. People are entirely concerned with themselves. They don’t pay attention to others around them. Not all people, of course, but a lot of people are just inconsiderate of others. It’s rude and it’s wrong. We all have to live together on this planet and no matter what you may think, your actions do affect others.
A lot of the little niceties I do on a regular basis are selfish. I will give someone a quarter if they’re in line in front of me and don’t have enough to buy whatever it is. I will give them a quarter not just because it’s a nice thing to do, but because they are delaying me and I would hope that someone would do the same for me if I were ever in that position. It’s not that I expect anything back; it’s just that if someone sees someone do something nice, they’re more likely to do the same. If everyone else was considerate, they’d feel like a right arsehole. Every little act of thoughtfulness makes the world just a little better.
While holding the door for the person behind me may not ever win me the Nobel Peace Prize, I think it makes a difference. If you are having a rough time and someone shows a very simple act of kindness to you, well, it could turn your day around. Sometimes, all it takes is a little consideration for others to make a difference.