The kindness of people

Most of the time, people are kind of assholes. (Forgive my language). I frequently see videos of racist, hateful people spewing profanities at others just because of their skin color; I read news articles about rapists and murderers and corrupt politicians, or school bullies and misogynists, and I think, Wow. People suck.

And it’s so easy to do–to look at the world and see all the bad filling it. To feel absolutely crushed under the heartbreak of reading about world events. But when that happens, I must remind myself to find those pieces of life that remain beautiful, when so much else is dark and depressing. 

So I find the foggy, damp air in the quiet moments before sunrise. The silly giggle of a two year old smiling at me as I put him to bed. The sigh of relief as I open my door and kick off my shoes at the end of a long day. And I rely, deeply, on the kindness of others. 

Lucky for me, that kindness is every bit as prevalent as the unkindness I read about so often. I just have to remember to notice it. And today I did.

Lexi, Jeremiah, and I eat dinner at the same place almost every night. It’s a tiny hole in the wall Thai restaurant just down from our apartment, run by a lovely couple. Pretty much everything on the menu is 30 baht, which is less than a dollar. The only problem is that the menu is in Thai and there are no pictures. So it was through a series of brave trial and error (pointing and hoping for the best) that Lexi worked out the words in Thai for about 4 dishes on their menu. And that’s typically what we eat. But not today.

 Today when we arrived for dinner, there was a new menu sitting at our usual table. And it looked like this (although admittedly less blurry):

That’s right. In English! They had one made up (just one!) for us. It was a small thing, but it meant so much. Finally, so many more options to choose from! To us, this was a big deal.

The thing about kindness is, it doesn’t have to be big. They had a menu translated and laminated. Not the craziest thing in the world, but it makes our life so much easier. Not only that, it showed us that these people genuinely care about us. It showed us that although language is a barrier to communication, it has no boundaries on kindness. 

So yeah. Sometimes people are awful, and that gets me down. But so often, people are astonishingly kind. So today I’m focusing on that. And if you ever come visit me in Thailand, I’ve got just the dinner spot to take you to. ❤️

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