Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the decisions we make every day, more specifically the decisions we make when we encounter another person. Whether that encounter be in an hour long meeting at work, talking to a friend, or buying gum at the bodega. How we choose to act or react in that situation is controlled by us.
To give you a little context of what I mean I will tell you about a friend of mine*. His ability to light up anybody’s life purely by interacting with them was and is an aspiration to me. His effortless way of communicating with any kind of person, making them laugh, and lifting their spirits seemed to come so naturally to him and I thought it would be impossible for me to be like that. I would think, “I’m just not that kind of person."
One day I asked him about his ability to connect with people and he told me that a long time ago he made a conscious decision to act that way. He wanted to make sure that everyone who met him, no matter how minor the interaction, would come out better off than they were before they met him. He wanted to bring something to their lives they didn’t have a moment earlier. And he worked very hard at it, and now it comes very naturally to him. That blew my mind. He chose to be this way.
So, can I do the same? The answer is: yes. We all can.
It takes work, and sometimes I can’t be bothered being nice to the jerk at the bank, or the guy at work asking for a change at the end of the day. But if I take a split second to choose how I react in that situation I can turn something meaningless, stressful, or boring into a moment that could change someone’s day. Even if it’s only mine.
Especially with everything that’s going on right now, we could all choose to be little nicer to those around us.
*Shout out to Corey. My inspiration.