That very same morning as we were walking to the school bus stop, we passed a security gate that the guard has to electronically open after we ring the bell. Right in front of us, maybe twenty feet away, a man was coming through the gate and instead of holding the gate open for us to walk through, he quickly moved on and let the gate close. He passed us by with his head down and we were so surprised by his untypical (most people are kind enough to hold the gate open if we were not too far from the gate) and insensitive action, we didn’t have the chance to say hello as he had already walked by.
I looked at my daughter and said, “isn’t that interesting.”
She said, “what do you mean?”
I said, “what just happened is a perfect example of what we were discussing earlier this morning. Let me describe the two scenarios. On the one hand, the man did not hold the door for us. As he put his head down, he could not have felt good about his insensitive action, and no doubt left the situation feeling probably just as badly as he did before he came upon us.”
“Right,” my daughter said.
“Here is what could have happened instead,” I continued. “When he came through the door, and saw us coming, with very little effort or time spent on his part, he could have waited three or four seconds and held the door open for us. He might have said good morning, bringing a sure smile to his face as he said it. Our faces would have lit up by the kindness of another stranger to us.”
I continued, “we were sure to say good morning and gone out of our way to verbally thank him for being kind enough to wait the few extra seconds it took us to get to the gate. Kenia, you would have smiled at him and said thank you and the three of our spirits would have been uplifted instantly by this five second encounter with another person.”