by Anastasia Strgar
Without tooting my own horn, I’d say I consider myself a kind person. I’m actually more likely to put others before myself, but lately, I’ve been working on putting myself first. Mysteriously, I’ve discovered that when I start being nicer to myself, I am better able to recognize the kindness coming at me from all directions… Not only that, but I’m more likely to look at the guy on the side of the street with a cardboard sign with compassion, rather than criticism.
When I was on my way to the bank yesterday I was stopped at a light with a guy who needed just $16 to get on a bus to Washington. Suspending my curiosity about why he was on his way to Washington, I pulled a dollar out of my wallet and handed it to him as I headed on my way. His resounding “God Bless you” hit me in a deeper way than me just feeling good about myself. Somehow with all the internal work I’ve been doing, I could feel his gratitude deeply inside and I felt connected to him in some kind of deep, albeit momentary way.
Later that day, I raced through traffic to get to my next job. When I spoke with a co-worker who asked how I was doing, I explained I was harried from rushing out to work. He kindly said, “Don’t ever rush to get here. We’re fine until you arrive.” I just thought that comment was so genuinely kind and concerned for my wellbeing that I smiled in thanks.
To top it all off I headed to a restaurant to pick up food for my boyfriend. The line was long and I was tired, but the older man behind me noticed my horse wear and struck up a conversation about horses, college, and my future career that lasted until we reached the checkout. As I was about to pay, he told the cashier he’d buy my dinner, then patted me on the shoulder and wished me well. I never even got his name, but for some reason it seemed to add to the appeal of the whole experience. I left the restaurant touched and grateful in the same way I’d been earlier when I handed that other man money toward his way north.
Maybe it was karma. Maybe it had to do with the Law of Attraction. Maybe it was because as I start to love myself I find more people treat me lovingly. Ultimately it got me thinking about what a bad rep the world and humanity gets. For all the death and destruction going on around us, if you look hard enough you can find goodness in the every day. Perhaps if we started focusing on that we might see the world we aspire to. So here’s to random acts of kindness. Thank you, World.
Anastasia Strgar, a recent graduate from the University of Oregon with a B.A in journalism, has been writing about love and relationships for several years. She has written short stories and romance novels, penned the love and sex column in the school newspaper and wrote several blogs. As the eldest of founder Wendy Strgar’s four children, she has been inspired by watching her parents’ marriage and strives to put those lessons to use in her own relationship. She believes that teaching her peers early on about how to maintain healthy relationships is essential to creating a future generation of loving partnerships. She currently works as the Director of Public Relations and Magazine Editor at Good Clean Love.