Sustainability Tip: Celebrate World Kindness Day with 4 ways to be kind when you don’t feel like it

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~Plato. Credit: Tiny Buddha

By Sophie Roback, Alliance Intern from Colorado College ‘24

I have worked many years now at customer service jobs in the food industry. I’ve been able to have wonderful conversations with customers where I learn things about their life like how they used to come to this restaurant years ago when they went to college. I have also had terrible interactions where I am rudely spoken to. Throughout my shifts, I have noticed the effect kindness has on how myself and my coworkers feel throughout the day. One customer has the power to turn my day around for the better or for the worse. 

Fiona Robyn writes 4 ways we can be kind even when we don’t feel like it in an article in Tiny Buddha. First, she tells us to notice when we feel the need to be unkind to someone, and secondly, ask ourselves why we might be feeling this urge. It can often be related to our own pain we may be feeling. Third, we need to acknowledge the part of us that hurts. Robyn’s fourth tip is that we should try to make sense of why we feel hurt by this action, and consider why this individual may feel the need to act this way. 

It can be challenging to be kind to those who don’t show us kindness, but this does not make them less deserving. Robyn reminds us that choosing kindness does not mean we must put up with rude behavior — we can stand up for ourselves while not hurting anyone else. 

Working shifts in restaurants can often become a repetitive and monotonous experience. I, however, find myself thinking fondly of interactions I’ve had with customers when they came back to tell me how much they enjoyed the drink I made or their experience in the restaurant. When people decide to go out of their way to be kind, it greatly improves my mood and inspires me to do the same for others. The great news is that we have far more power every day to create a kind world.

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