Posted by: Kathy White | July 28, 2010

Kindness of Others — and One Butthead

Crawling through the health care system yesterday I had quite a lot of time to people watch.  I was happily surprised to find that most people are pretty polite. But, it is the kindness we relay to others that truly matters. So, here’s a few lessons:

When we first arrived at the doctor’s office, Bren was headed off to park and a man using a walker was headed to the doors and a younger man was ahead of him headed through the doors. He did not look back. He went right through the doors and let them slam in the face of this poor guy and his walker. Lesson: Look behind you when you go through doors. Takes a second. Seriously.

Bren and I had been waiting in a big outer waiting room, since my doctor’s little waiting from was full. My doctor was running a good hour behind on appointments thanks to a surgery that ran over in the morning. People weren’t happy but dealing with it. Bren found me a seat in the little waiting room finally and there was a man waiting for his wife in the seat next to me. He got up and gave his seat to Bren. Wouldn’t take no for an answer. Lesson: There are still gentlemen out there. Thanks.

Waiting along with us was a son and his 70-year-old mother who suffered from Parkinson’s and had fallen. She had a big neck brace on, was in a wheelchair and obviously very uncomfortable. The son kept re-arranging her to try to keep her comfortable. He went up to the counter and said he had an appointment for 9:30. The receptionist, Jackie, says she had him down as a 10:45am appointment. It’s now 10:30am and the doctor hasn’t even seen his 9:30am appointments yet because he’s behind. Jackie, when the next room opened up, took him and his mom in. Lesson: Do the right thing. So his appointment was well behind the rest of us, didn’t matter. Jackie did the right thing.

After we finally got done with the doctor, Bren and I were starving as it was now going on noon and we’d been there since 9am with very little to eat before. We headed back to Alameda to our favorite little Thai joint. Our usual waiter greeted us and offered his sympathy immediately for my casted up leg. He already knew what we wanted, had us all set up and we had a nice lunch. Bren went out the door to go collect the car and I was to meet her out front. Our waiter walked me all the way out, held the door open for me and made sure Bren was there before going back in. Lesson: It’s the little things. He just made it easier on me and that big smile as he helped me out just made me feel good.

I’ll get off my soapbox of feel-goodness now. But wanted to share some quick examples of folks who I saw or who helped me out that I thought were very cool. And, of course, that one butthead. But you learn from that, too. I’ve certainly been in too big of a hurry to look back sometimes. I’ll try not to do that anymore. Be kind to one another. Happy Hump Day.


  1. Isn’t it amazing how the smallest actions have the greatest impact?! Not only do these acts of kindness help you check-in with the world around you, but they also help you check-in with yourself and what is really important.

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