As a gift, two of my dearest friends gave me a shirt with this embroidered message: “Be good to people.” If that phrase were on a piece of your clothing, would you be less apt to throw attitude at those around you?
We’ve all been snappy with the diva at the deli counter, the postal employee with no sense of urgency or the opinionated co-worker preoccupied with personal drama and lunch menus. Drivers will continue to cut you off on the highway. Old ladies and gentlemen will forever squeeze to the front of the airport restroom line. Our daily encounters with frustrated individuals and their roller-coaster moods can be contagious, especially if our own level of wickedness is particularly heightened.
Sometimes the temptation is too great. We become consumed in our own selfish little world, focused on our path to defend and conquer while teaching an important lesson to the individual stealing our parking space. The little jabs we throw in defense of our own vanity come with consequence and others often mirror our negative behavior.
Pause for a moment. The whole concept of “be good to people” (BGTP) is performing simple acts of kindness. It’s a movement on the local level, changing the world one person, one kind act at a time. When I wear the BGTP shirt, there’s an obligation to be patient and gracious with others. The few extra moments of attention, a friendly word or complement may lighten another’s burden. If someone needs help, don’t just offer it. Give it.
The harsh reality of being an adult is seeing others, often friends and family, embroiled in real life trials and tribulations. Our parents no longer shelter us from the raw truth of people losing their homes, jobs and often their pride. We witness the strong becoming humble and the confident showing humility. Making ends meet and the dream of providing their children with a college education seems unattainable. Families divorce and loved ones die.
We’ve all had, or currently have, bad days, slumps and hits to our professional egos. There may very well be a reason for the cold exteriors we sometimes sense from other people.
A friend once said to me, “Your heart is smarter than the mind. Listen to it.”
This piece of cloth was not just a gift for me but for others as well. Let’s try and consider this concept, “Be good to people,” when we experience grimaces from people in our everyday lives. A moment in their shoes may soften our hearts.
Be good to people. It’s that simple.
The "be good to people" concept was created by entrepreneur Kris Wittenberg after a rude encounter experienced while running errands. Visit the BGTP Web site for more information.