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Is the kindness of strangers a thing of the past?

2019 is a pretty fast-paced place to be.

We want things quicker, easier and to be honest, it’s all a polite way of saying that we want things immediately, or even yesterday in some cases. We are slowly yet surely losing face to face interactions not just with strangers but with our friends.

It’s always a matter of having no time. Or even when we do have time, are we ever truly present with the people we’re spending time with? Friends aside though, today I want to talk about the kindness of strangers and whether it well and truly exists in 2019.

When was the last time you did something nice for someone? When was the last time you did something nice for someone you don’t know? Gender ridiculousness aside, have you opened a door for someone recently? Donated something to someone who needs it much more than you do? Volunteered your time? Or simply smiled at a stranger?

I would love to think that even in such a fast-paced world, the kindness of strangers isn’t dead.

Surely we aren’t that disconnected from each other that we can’t recognise that the person sitting across from us on the bus is also a fellow human. You know, someone who also lives, and breathes, and goes home at night after working all day to a family (human or otherwise).

So much of me thinks that perhaps people assume that kindness goes by the wayside when deadlines are concerned.

We are always rushing to be the first person out the door, or checking emails while ordering our coffee and simultaneously thinking whether our kids went to school with the correct uniform today and whether or not we will make it home in time to see our partner before they head off to night-shift.

I think our online presence has a lot to answer for when we sit down and consider the importance we place on kindness. A friend of mine said to me this morning she sees it as putting on and taking off her judgemental pants.

In the world today it has to be such an active process to put your personal opinions about someone else’s life in your back pocket. Because see, when you’re scrolling through your feed, it’s very easy to point out flaws and mistakes and project our insecurities onto whoever it is we happen to be insta-stalking at the time.

But unfortunately, this instantaneous judgement is now spilling over into our daily face to face lives and impacting every single interaction we have with strangers.

My challenge for this week is to reach out to someone you don’t know. Whether it be as simple as letting them in during your morning commute or holding the door for someone, shouting coffee for the person in front of you whose card has been declined. Whatever it is that takes your fancy, I challenge you to inject some kindness into your life.

Before it’s all too late.

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.

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