I don’t have an ez-pass.
If you’re with me, you know how challenging that can be when you’re trying to get anywhere in the state of New Jersey. This whole experience of lining up in the one available lane to hand over my money to a human, got me thinking about kindness
I personally decided to make a change. And no, I didn’t get an ezpass. Let me explain. Here’s how it used to go. Already pissed off that I have to pay, what seems to me, ridiculous amounts of money to drive on a road, and have to cross over 4 or more lanes before I can find the booth that allows me to pay with cash, I would show up with an annoyed and pissed off attitude.There, nestled in the booth, I would find the toll collector, with an even worse grouchy attitude than I was carrying around. I imagined them seeing annoyed and pissed off people in every car that passed through their station. We have no idea what goes on in others’ lives or what situations and circumstances are on their plates.
One day, I decided I was going to make a change. This change within myself would have a huge impact on others. Here’s how it goes now. My decision was to show up differently to the toll booth and give something more than my money to the toll collector. Maybe make a difference in the human in the booth’s life by being kind and present, even for that fleeting moment during the drive thru. All this took was for me to look up at the person and smile. Mother Teresa reminds us, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” Adding a compliment like “I like your hair” and/or a “good morning” greeting is an added bonus
THINGS CHANGED. This has become a fun game for me. I now get smiles back almost every time I give one and I can sense an instant uplifting in their mood. It has even swung my thought process and perception of paying the toll into a positive. I am grateful (most of the time) for having lovely smooth roads to drive on.This past week, I was somewhat distracted and didn’t do my normal ritual when arriving to the booth to pay. This toll collector smiled at me first and asked how my day was going, which instantly shifted me to laugh. How amazing to receive a small token of kindness when I was not being conscious to his presence!
Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted”
I invite you to think about an area in your life where you can make it better simply by raising your standards for how you are being and how you are showing up. Using the example I gave, I could have just continued being annoyed about it all (or even gotten an ez-pass). Instead I consciously chose to bring loving kindness, a bit of attention, a dose of intention to the moment by engaging, connecting and showing a genuine interest in another human being.
Can you make things better for others (and indirectly for yourself) by one simple act of kindness, in the form of a smile or a greeting or a compliment? You’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose whenyou bring a little love to every place you go, everything you touch and everyone you meet. I invite you to think about how it could be possible for you to sprinkle a little love in every direction. Challenge yourself for a day or two and notice how it feels for you on the giving end. Be aware of the reaction from the person on the receiving end. Both ends are the same and bring genuine gifts to your spirit, to your heart and to your soul.
Rosie Battista is a Life Coach, author of Sleeping Naked After 40, helping people wake up, uncover their gift and share it with the world. Facilitating dinner workshops and women’s groups, she shares her Self Love You-tensils and Spiritual Essentials to help clients live a more conscious and mindful life.