By Linda Commito
In this time of separation, there are many ways to spread goodwill and to help others to feel appreciated and more connected.
It’s easy to close ourselves off these days—in fact, it’s encouraged. But at what cost? It feels like there’s more distance and less connection and communication as we separate ourselves out of self-preservation. It’s harder to converse with others when we’re out, especially among the sea of masked faces, difficult to hear or speak even when we do make an effort.
How can we get to the heart of what’s important and find new ways of connecting based on our common experiences? This is a time when the whole world and most of its citizens are facing the same fears, concerns, loneliness from isolation, worry about the future . . . These feelings are universal and offer an incredible opportunity to relate with more patience, compassion and kindness.
In the past, we may not have had as much time to reach out, but now it’s one thing many of us have more of—TIME—to connect, perhaps not with our hands but with our hearts. How can we kindly engage with and experience the human being behind the mask, the voice on the other line, the people who provide us services?
Last week, I called about a refund, five weeks overdue, from an airline that had cancelled my flights. It took several tries and a very long time, but I finally got to speak to a real person. I was tempted to express my frustration, but decided to reach out instead. I asked this young man, “How are you doing? Are you working from home in Portugal? I hear that your country is beautiful and I look forward to visiting someday. How is the COVID experience for you?” He shared that he was working from home and he was well. I continued, “It’s interesting that all over the world, we are experiencing similar things, we’re all ‘in the same boat’. I hope that you, your family and friends stay healthy.” He responded warmly, “And you and yours, as well.” And although he tried his best, he couldn’t tell me when I would get a refund, saying there are many requests and we all have to wait our turn. I thanked him for his time and help.
“My pleasure,” he said, “I hope that you get your refund soon. Thank you for calling.” Somehow it felt gratifying. I didn’t get what I called for but I felt better—I was heard and appreciated and I enjoyed a heartfelt connection with a stranger.
Whether it’s being understanding with a harried customer service person, practicing patience with an unsolicited caller, or letting my eyes do the smiling when I’m out (masked), I’m trying to express kindness in this age of COVID.
There are many ways to spread goodwill and to help others to feel appreciated and more connected. Labor Day is a perfect time to acknowledge all of the workers who continue to provide care and service.
Do you have a kindness story to share or a favorite way to be kind during this pandemic? Share it on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/JustAsk123Game/.
Afterall, we are all in this together. Let’s try to make it a better experience for everyone!
Linda Commito, author, speaker, entrepreneur, consultant and teacher, is passionate about her vision to leave this world a kinder, more loving, and interconnected place. Linda’s award-winning book of inspirational stories, Love Is the New Currency, demonstrates how we can each make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others through simple acts of love and kindness. Her latest project, the card game Just Ask 1 2 3, was inspired by a desire to connect people of all different ages, beliefs and lifestyles to share our individuality and find commonality. Linda also created “Kindness Starts with Me,” a program, book and website for children. For more information visit http://www.LoveistheNewCurrency.com or visit the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Justask123game.