But it’s not the one you’re thinking of. I was super stressed out after a ridiculously crappy (without any of the ridiculous) morning and decided to go for a run. A good bout of exercise always works to clear my head and change my chemistry.
I put my headphones on, pushed play on a podcast I was excited to listen to and ran out the door. …And proceeded to rehash they shitty events of my morning over and over and ruminate in my anger and frustration. I was giving it so much of my energy I couldn’t even hear the podcast I was supposed to be listening to.
And then something happened. About 3/4 of my way through the run I encountered a couple I’d guess to be in their early 30’s. As I was passing by the hipster guy smiled and gave me a thumbs up. Did he just do that? I thought so but wasn’t sure. I was too busy being crabby. It jarred me right out of my pity party and made me smile. And it shifted my mood immediately. I could feel a physical change.
I thought to myself how awesome that was. A little piece of kindness from a total stranger. I was filled with gratitude for his small gesture. It was exactly what I needed and I hoped he knew the difference it made. And then I realized the only way for him to know was for me to tell him. I should tell him. I’ll regret it if I don’t.
So I turned around and sprinted back to catch up with them. I came up behind them COMPLETELY out of breath and said “Excuse me…pant, pant, pant…I don’t mean to be a total weirdo but…pant, pant, pant…” At this point they both were looking at me with alarm and concern. I think they thought something was REALLY wrong with me. “Pant, pant…did you just smile and give me a thumbs up?” While I wondered if he thought he was going to get smacked for being a sexist pig, he smiled again and said “Yes!”
And I told him how much of a difference it made. That I was having a really crappy morning, how it shifted everything and made me feel so much better. That I really appreciated it.
And you should have seen the smiles on their faces. I thought I was going to cry and for god’s sake we were *this* close to a sweaty group hug. And then I turned around and ran off.
A moment of kindness is simple. It’s easy. And it makes such a difference.