The universe gave me flowers yesterday. I was on my way to square dancing class, and there is a flower store near the bus stop. The person throwing out the day’s floral arrangements was handing them to strangers in the street, and placing others on the ledges of trash cans so they would be found. I got three yellow roses with red edges and a bright lily the color of bananas. A coffee shop provided a cup of water so that my impromptu bouquet wouldn’t die before I got home.
These little kindnesses can make such a difference. I was in a good mood already, but flowers always make me feel extra-special. I didn’t get a chance to talk to the worker who did that. He was already locked in his shop, closing up for the day. I would have liked to tell him I appreciated his thoughtfulness.
It’s easy to notice the lack of courtesy in society—it’s all around us, and an impolite moment can really sting. I’ve been noticing the opposite—the guy who put out flowers in the street is part of a large coalition of nice people, and I think they deserve some attention, too. People bring snacks to my dance class, so we’ll have something to nibble on during breaks, and everyone goes out of their way to bring things to accommodate the special dietary needs of a few of our members. Some of the bus drivers will stop and wait for a moment if they see a person running to catch the bus, and if someone is struggling to carry something aboard I always see hands reaching down to help.
Nice people are everywhere, and I’m thankful for them. We all remember to complain when something has gone wrong, but I try to remember to give out compliments when something has gone right. No one likes to receive only negative feedback, and I believe that when we share our positive feedback it reinforces pleasant behavior. I also don’t think that niceness always has to be its own reward, especially when I can be one of the agents of karma and hand out some goodness to the great people I meet every day. They deserve it, and the more I notice them, the more the negative people fade into the background. I think I’ll keep them there.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
94. What went right today? Thank the people responsible and perhaps even give them a little treat.