Sometimes just a moment will do.
I was looking down at the street from my fourth-floor office trying to determine how wet it was. I rode my bike to work and wanted to see if it was dry enough to ride home for lunch later.
A well-dressed man strode to his car parked along the curb, unlocked the door (touchless – nice!) and threw in a manila folder across the seat, obviously through with his business in the building. He reached in and peeled his parking sticker off the windshield and examined it.
We did away with meters some time ago in Austin: now you pay for your time at a station, print the receipt and leave it on the inside of your window. Gone are the days when you could cruise the street looking for unexpired time on a meter… No more meters.
The well-dressed man looked up from his ticket and noticed a not so well-dressed man with a long grey ponytail (welcome to the #ATX) ambling towards the parking station clearly intent on buying a sticker. Man number one walked over to the second, and offering the ticket, explained to him there was still time left (you can buy up to three hours) asking him if he wanted it.
The second fellow obviously said sure, thanked him and turned around. Redemption.
It is so easy to be cynical today, so easy to be snarky and mean and unkind. Some people think its cool and hip to do so. Hell, some people, including a significant portion of #Social Media pundits think its normal.
There was a time when the model for behavior in the office, home, social and civic settings was much more gracious, much more kind, much more human. There was a time when bosses didn’t have to demoralize and dehumanize staff. When partners said nice things to each other. When friends – and even complete strangers – were kindly towards others.
And that time has not passed.
We don’t read about these interactions much, seldom seeing them caught on a vid online, but they are there nonetheless. And they are appreciated. And they humanize us once again.
You can create more of these moments. Today. Now.
You can bring about redemption through a thousand acts of kindness and simple courtesy that hasn’t actually gone out of style. It is still there timeless in its appeal.
So take a minute to reflect on the milieu you live and work in, and if it doesn’t feel right, change it.
Social is as social does.