If you want to find kindness, then Asheville is the place to be. People here smile at one another. Car drivers actually stop to let you into their lane. Surrounded by a different mindset growing up, I learned from an early age to push or be pushed. So, now living in Asheville, it has been so refreshing to be treated by others with kindness, smiles, and respect.
I also found out that kindness is contagious. It felt kind of weird at first, but really nice, to slow down when driving to let other cars in. When I take my daily walk, it feels so welcoming to give and receive smiles and nods from passersby.
Kindness is a choice we make daily even when it is not reciprocated. Just maybe your act of kindness may trigger that same response in others. One quote I read stated, “Be kind to unkind people. They need it the most.”
Do you remember a time when someone unexpectedly treated you kindly? Perhaps it was a compliment, or including you in an activity or group. That might have been many years ago, but chances are you will remember it today. Kindness is most definitely powerful stuff, not to be underrated.
We all want to feel happy. Well, that will be the effect of showing kindness to others. By the way, do not forget self-kindness. Treat yourself well. Be gentle and take good care of yourself. After all, how can you give out something you don’t have yourself. Self-kindness begets kindness to others.
Not too long ago, right here in Asheville, I was stopped at a red light. It was raining very hard. There was a woman getting drenched, but smiling broadly. That already had my attention. Again, a stark contrast to my past experience where that woman would not be smiling, but rather stating some harsh profanities. She was waiting for the light to change, so she could quickly catch the oncoming bus. She was waving to the bus driver with the hope that he would see her. He started to pull away. There she was, still smiling, but then to her surprise and mine as well, he drove just past the light and then pulled the bus to the side. He then waited for her to cross the street and run over to get on that bus. I was so touched by this whole scene. Firstly, I couldn’t get over how smiley she was even when the downpour had her all soaking wet. She remained smiling, even when she believed that the bus driver had passed her by. Then the best part was witnessing the driver pull the bus over to wait for her to get on. What a beautiful act of kindness. I can still see that lady’s face, continuing to show a smile in spite of whatever circumstances she confronted. I kept thinking, what made that lady so happy? I prefer to believe that it is because she is on the giving end of kindness. Remember what goes around comes around. It is obvious that the bus driver passed back that kindness to that rain drenched lady. What did I tell you? Asheville is a winner when it comes to kindness.
Remember, however, that kindness needs to be genuine. Speaking from your heart, in a kind and compassionate manner, brings out your best self and helps to build trust. In the words of the Dalai Lama, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
By the way, we here at Asheville Country Cabins put kindness at the top of our priority list. Come check us out!!!!
On an ending note, I just took my walk down a beautiful Asheville path, and saw that someone had put a lost bike helmet on a post, presumably with the belief that this helmet would be later found by its owner. Elsewhere, that helmet would be gone in the blink of an eye, and not by its owner. Come on now, how can you not love Asheville?
Asheville Students Learn About Kindness
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