Ever notice how over the last decade or so, people just seem a little bristlier, a little more rude in public? A grocery or big box retail store are good examples. People trying to get down a cluttered aisle will snort and jostle angrily, instead of simply saying “excuse me.” Or when two people are arriving at the checkout at the same time, one will avoid eye contact and subtly try to head the other off. Or people will snarl at employees when they’re in a hurry or frustrated about a purchase, instead of pondering for a moment what a crappy job the employee has and just giving them that one little break that day.
Well, some friends of mine and I were discussing this a few years ago, and we made a decision. We decided there was a huge deficit of kindness in the world, and that it was time to invest in what we called “The Kindness Economy.” Every chance we get, we use all the nice words our folks taught us, like “please” and “thank you” and “excuse me.” We hold doors for people, let them go first, and offer to help them if they look like they need it. Heck, we even say “hi” to people we don’t know (bonus points for smiling), and sometimes we actually TALK to them.
We haven’t figured out yet what our net return is, but we DO see pretty significant returns right away, in the form of smiles, and obvious relief in gratitude. We’re pretty sure that the people we invest our kindness in probably spend it pretty quickly, which can have the effect of increasing the profits of EVERYONE. We’re certainly not worried about a “Kindness Bubble” yet, so why don’t you give this high-risk investment a shot today, and let us know how things turn out?