"The world is full of nice people. If you can’t find one, be one." – Nishan Panwar

How many times have you been in traffic and waited forever for someone to let you change lanes even though you’ve had your blinker on for miles? Or maybe you’ve been in line at the grocery store with two items and had to wait in the slowest line. These moments happen all day, every day. Am I right?

Now recall how completely magical it was that one time that the trucker slowed traffic down so you could get in front of them. Or the moment that  person in front of you in line said, “Hey let them go because they only have a couple items.” It totally changed your mood in that moment and it warmed your whole day. I bet you moved on to do something random and kind for someone else, too.

Maybe you are sitting there reading this thinking, “Nah, I can’t remember the last time I felt like I encountered a decent, much less kind, person.” I hear you! I do! But maybe it’s not because the nice people that aren’t there, but because they are hiding under a protective COVID/2020 exterior. I’ve noticed recently that even the best people I know are now living in a protective bubble of sorts and reluctant to reach out to others, even for kindness.

I walked out of the store the other day and the woman in front of me dropped a bag of cans, without thinking I stepped in and started to help her gather the cans rolling through the parking lot. She started to CRY. She thanked me over and over saying she didn’t think people were willing to help others anymore. It broke me, my heart, and my soul. Have we all become so focused on running here and there and being germ-free that we aren’t taking the time to show people love… especially strangers? Maybe we are all afraid on some level… afraid to be the kind in a socially distant society. I get it, COVID is real but so is love and kindness. Now more than ever the love and kindness is needed to keep the connections even in a socially distant society. Simple words alone can carry far… Can’t be hands on in someone’s life? Be free with your words. You may not be able to see the smile behind the mask but I promise the words, “That’s a great shirt” will put one there. Can’t find a nice person? BE ONE!

Sarah Deats

Sarah Deats is a Behavioral Health Technician at RI International and the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer.