20 Seconds of Gentleness
We are all familiar with the word “kindness”. It has always been a part of our expectations for people around us to never miss a second of giving or sharing a portion of their richness. But we aren’t really taking up an expectant’s place just to wait for people to give us money or gifts. Sometimes, all we are waiting for is for people to smile at us, render us some tenderness in the way they talk and deal with us. With their gentle manners, say, in the simple way they excuse themselves out of the elevator, we can feel the lightness of being kind to strangers almost without effort at all. A gentle answer, a friendly smile, or a light pat on the shoulder. Kindness isn’t just about money.
1. Not your ordinary grumpy driver
“It was the same old story: rush hour. traffic in EDSA. and an ill-tempered cab driver. The latter would even give a chill on your spine, taking into account that in his driving, his bad mood was actually in charge,” I thought so as I waited for a cab.
My then duel with rude taxi drivers had taken the toll on me. But this one was different. He was talkative. I was tired. I tried to make light of his attempts to make conversations. I was a hairbreadth away from snapping at him. But by grace, I appreciated what an amiable driver this man is. When he was asking for confirmation on which road to take, he even called me “anak” (child). He was respectful and gentle in his speech.
2. The moody guy
He has the machine, the editor, the brains, the perseverance to get all the work done, but sometimes his mood swings are just really getting on my nerves. He doesn’t have a lot of friends in the office. Most of the time, I would hear people crack jokes about him and that would likely prod my confidence in hating him more – a sort of validation to my irritability.
Come Thursday night, when all I did was fight Murphy’s Law, and when all that was left for me to do was ask his approval to use his editing machine (mind you, the idea that I would have to again endure his grumbling and temperament made me think of resigning), but to my surprise, he replied with a smile; there was that gentleness in the way he answered though I can see in his eyes how tired he felt that night too. He let me use his computer and that also made me realize that I do not intend to become “a walking counter of mistakes,” after all mood swings don’t just swing on one side — right?