There are several times throughout the year that I think you get to start over. One, of course, is on New Year’s Day when a new year begins. I also think your birthday marks a new beginning. And of all the seasons, I think Spring begins a time of renewal.
Yet with all these opportunities to start over, I have been observing something different this year from recent years’s past. I don’t know if it is because we have started a new decade, or because we just went through an awful financial calamity, but I get the strong sense many people want to start over and they want things to be different this time around.
My observation began when a customer, at the jewelry store I work in part-time, called and complained about what she perceived as our lack of service. While I am happy to report that is not a common occurrence, what happened next is: she called back to apologize. She said she just didn’t want to start the year being rude to people. I like that sentiment.
While nothing about my observations could be classified as scientific, I have also observed this new civility at the grocery store too. People seem to be more forgiving when someone is taking up too much room in the aisle and people say excuse me when they pass in front of someone deep in thought as they search the shelves for a specific product. And yes, I have witnessed people letting people with less items actually go first.
Is this just wishful thinking or could it be that the economic crisis of the last few years has brought us closer together? Could it be that these hard times have shown that we are all in this together and for our planet to survive we must all come together as one and help one another. While the previous decade might be more about greed and a dog eat dog mentality for getting ahead, maybe this time around we will see that the best way to proceed is by courtesy and helping each other achieve our goals. Success at another’s expense is not happiness.
I recently read of a man, Bob Totruba, who is traveling to college campuses throughout the country, on a ten year mission to encourage and remind people to be kind every day. This includes simple acts from smiling to picking up trash.
I don’t know if he has been to our town, but maybe his movement is spreading.
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