kind•ness

IMG_8515

“If we all do one random act of kindness daily, we might just set the world in the right direction.” -Martin Kornfeld

Ever since I lost all of my hair, I have received much more kindness from strangers than in the past. I could probably count on two hands the number of times I have opened a door for myself in public in the past three months. If I drop something, someone picks it up for me before I have time to bend down to get it. If I cross paths with someone, they are the first to move out of the way before I can react. I’ve had at least three different random people pay for my Starbucks, and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been complimented out of the blue by someone I don’t know. No one, I mean no one, has been rude to me. Every single positive interaction with a stranger has uplifted my spirits in many ways.

The unfortunate part about these acts of kindness is the fact that I’m surprised. I wish I wasn’t surprised when strangers are nice. I wish I wasn’t surprised when strangers do favors for me. And most of all I wish I wasn’t surprised when strangers give me compliments.

Just think about it.. when’s the last time you complimented a stranger.. or bought someone Starbucks because you just felt like it? The next time you find yourself standing in a silent elevator, instead of burying your head into your phone..consider breaking the silence and interacting with the people around you. By doing random acts of kindness, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how much happier you feel by the end of the day. Odds are you will have some fun and interesting stories to tell in the long run.

Clearly these things happen all the time, but I think it would be a wonderful thing if it wasn’t so rare. I’d love to live in a world where I don’t have to lose my hair in order for strangers to consistently do and say kind things because they pity me. I’d like to think I am partially responsible for the happiness of strangers. It is amazing how a simple act of kindness can impact a person’s life in a tremendous way.

Obviously I don’t think the earth is only filled with nasty people. If anything, this journey has highlighted the existence of many genuinely kind and beautiful people. But a world with more pleasant interactions with strangers would simply be a healthier and happier world.

As Ellen would say…. “Be kind to one another, BYE.”

 

Let it go.

I used to be one of the most type A people I knew and, unfortunately, it got a little out of control. (So, for my friends and family who have ever wanted to punch me in the face….thanks for putting up with me.) I was the annoying roommate who changed the thermostat from 69 to 68.. because, of course, that would save us SO much money. I kept a daily calendar in my computer and blocked out individual slots for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (I wish I was kidding). I wouldn’t let myself spontaneously go out to eat with friends on a Sunday night because I HAD to study for an exam that was on THURSDAY. Anyways, I thankfully realized recently that, not only were some of these habits completely ridiculous and uptight, but they were holding me back from living a balanced (let alone exciting) life.

IMG_6587

After my surgery/diagnosis I reflected on some of these old habits and my perspective has changed entirely. I now find myself just letting the small things go. I’ve hit a reality check,
and realized that life could always be much worse. Whether it be letting my sister borrow my shoes the first time she asks and genuinely not caring, or randomly going to a winery with friends instead of studying for the GRE..I have simply learned to relax. We all have our own unique type A tendencies, and yours might not be as extreme as some of mine. But, the next time you’re stressed out, consider asking yourself this question…

Will this matter five years from now?

Most likely the answer will be no.

Relax.. If your sister ruins your shoes when she borrows them, I promise your life isn’t over (she can buy you another pair). Be flexible.. If an old friend asks to get lunch at 11:00am and you were just about to go grocery shopping, change your schedule and go enjoy a nice lunch. Let it go..If you’re sitting in traffic and some moron decides to cut you off, honk your horn, be angry for a minute, and consider the possibility that he’s having a really hard day. Imagine a world where everyone let the small things go… I bet it’d be a pretty happy place. Five years from now you probably won’t even remember the pair of shoes your sister ruined; however, chances are, you will remember that one lunch you had with that old friend from college.

Let’s all be like Elsa and just let it go (sorry.. had to).