Tag Archives: WP daily writing prompt

Honey vs. Vinegar – Kindness

There’s a saying in Portuguese that says you won’t catch flies with vinegar. Flies are caught with honey. In my book at least. In my husband’s book they’re caught (and killed) with a fly-swatter.

The same applies to people. Kindness catches. Fly-swatting harms.

Some months ago I wrote about the kindness I received from the most unlikely source – a car guard. Such random acts of kindness still take my breath away because they are so unexpected. These are the best – the unexpected ones.

It doesn’t cost anything and comes in many forms: a smile, letting a car in who’s desperately trying to change lanes, buying coffee for a visitor who doesn’t have cash in a cashless office.

It doesn’t have to be grand or reported in the press for all to know. Don’t you think that it’s the smallest acts that are the most amazing?

I love it when my niece reads to me when I wake up,. She also shares her swim suits with her friends at her birthday party and writes me thank you notes for spending the weekend with her.

Recently, my 5 year old nephew and I were chasing each other to see who’d make it to the door first. I always let him get in front. He’s 5 years old after all. On one of those runs he stopped at the door and let me run into the house first. Surprised I turned to him and said: “My angel, I wanted you to go in first.” He says: “No, Tia Zizi, I wanted YOU to go in first.”

Kindness is free, kindness is simple, kindness is forever young.

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It’s not just semantics – words are everything

I once read a quote that goes something like this : Wild horses will not be able to catch hurtful words once they have been spoken. I don’t remember who said it and there’s a good chance that it’s not properly quoted either (apologies to the quotee*).

In any event, the point of using that quote is to explain that words are everything. People often dismiss what someone else is saying because they’re using different words to theirs and they say, “It’s just semantics!”

Well, it’s not just semantics. Words carry meaning beyond that ascribed in the dictionary. Each person interprets words differently, and give them different meaning.

Words are powerful. See the pic below and tell me how you feel after reading it…

The power of words
The power of words

How beautiful is that…?

 

This post is in response to WordPress's daily prompt: A Name For Yourself. Click here for more interpretations of today's prompt.

*Quotee – a made up word

Worldly Encounters – Happy!

Humans are all about HAPPY! Being Happy. Wanting to be Happy. Sad that they’re not Happy. Thinking they can never be Happy. The list is endless.

Happiness plays in huge role in our lives. It’s literally a life or, in some instances, death thing. We’re always looking for happiness and not happy that we’re not there. Kind of an endless cycle and self-fulfilling prophecy.

Yip, I know this is a generalisation, and where it applies it almost always is the same – yip, I know, another generalisation.

What we haven’t as a species, realised, is that happiness comes from within us. It’s already there. It can’t be acquired like going to a supermarket to get bread. It can’t be bought like going to a spa for a massage. It can’t be given to us like relying on someone else to make us happy.

If we’re not happy then we’re don’t accept ourselves as we are – as perfectly made human beings.

Imagine if everyone accepted that happiness was not a state but a way of being. States are transient and don’t last longer than 90 seconds. So we’re going through many states each day. But a way of being is exactly that – a way of being – permanent.

So if happiness is way of being (permanent) we can be:

Happy and not 100% comfortable at this moment

Happy and hungry at this moment

Happy and feel like crying at this moment

You get the idea.

This is not a self-help post, so if you’re looking for tips on how to be happy then you won’t find that here.

What you will find is Pharrell Williams’s song “Happy!” Listen to it, if you feel happy or not. It’s a wonderfully happy song. Visit 24hoursofhappy – the world’s first 24 hour music video – many celebrities in it too.

And clap along if you feel happiness is the truth, because I’m happy… and it’s infectious…

(Check below the video for the lyrics)

Lyrics from http://www.metrolyrics.com/happy-lyrics-pharrell-williams.html:

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take away
I’m a hot air balloon, I could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Here come bad news talking this and that
Yeah, give me all you got, don’t hold back
Yeah, well I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine
Yeah, no offense to you don’t waste your time
Here’s why

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Happy, bring me down
Can’t nothing, bring me down
Love is too happy to bring me down
Can’t nothing, bring me down
I said bring me down
Can’t nothing, bring me down
Love is too happy to bring me down
Can’t nothing, bring me down
I said

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Happy, bring me down
Can’t nothing, bring me down
Love is too happy to bring me down
Can’t nothing, bring me down
I said

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

 Read more: Pharrell Williams – Happy Lyrics | MetroLyrics

The kindness of strangers

I think people are inherently kind. If someone isn’t I find it’s best to consider first that they’re perhaps having a bad day.

I’ve found kindness in the most unlikely places from the most unlikely of strangers such as parking attendants (read my post Humbled by a Car Guard) and taxi drivers in peak hour traffic.

On the other hand, people I expected to be kind to me weren’t.

Like the time my car broke down on the double decker in the Joburg CBD on a Sunday afternoon. Roadworks had decreased 2 lanes to 1, and I was just in the way of everyone else.

Traffic cops pulled up behind me and wanted to know why I was stopped (duh!). After she put up my triangle, I asked her if she’d stay with me until my husband arrived to tow the car. Not too much to expect since  I was in the way of traffic, people were getting upset and it needed some controlling.

And let’s not forget that controlling and easing traffic is also her job. She  just shook her head, said, “No I can’t, just pray”, waddled back to her car and drove away.

Signs you've experienced the kindness of someone:
1) You leave feeling better than before.
2) You want to be kind back.
3) Initial surprise is followed by wonder.

The best way to repay someone’s kindness, after thanking them (if you can), is to pay it forward. Be kind to someone else.