Would you hold the door open for a stranger walking behind you?
Do you hold the elevator for a co-worker rushing down the hallway?
If a pedestrian is waiting at a crosswalk do you stop and let them cross?
These are simple choices we must make on a daily basis. Choices that, in my opinion, are easy to answer with a “yes”. But I’m not writing this because we’re all living our lives like the most devout members of the Abnegation faction.
An odd thing happened to me at work today while walking from the fitness center to the locker room. A thing that made me think “Is this really happening right now?”
You see, there’s a door between the fitness center and the locker rooms, a heavy fire door. I hate opening this door. It’s awkward, the knob is small and doesn’t turn well, and it doesn’t swing in the direction that feels natural for it’s placement. This morning, as I grasped that tiny knob and gave it a sharp twist, I noticed a man walking towards me from the other side of that shitty door, maybe 10′ away. I struggled, with bags in both hands, to pull the door wide enough to go around and squeeze through. When I had enough room to cross the threshold, the man that had been creeping closer and closer from the other side was suddenly right there. And how convenient for him, this sweaty, polite, and exhausted young woman already had the door open. He didn’t give me a second glance, nor did he care that I was already on my way through the door. He simply breezed right past me. My only thought was “Damn, did that just happen?”
Fine, fuck it. I need to shower and in order to shower I need to get to the other side of this door. As I was about to make my second attempt I realized the 5 guys walking behind him had other plans. So I stood there like a sweaty doorman wearing a down parka on a 105 degree day outside the Waldorf Astoria. They all walked through, they all looked at me, and not one of them said “Thank you!”, offered to stop and let me through, or held the door for me after they passed through. What a bunch of assholes.
I’m usually good at putting on my best fuck you face (see below) but this time it failed me. I was simply too stunned to even look as pissed off as I was.
I finally did get through that shitty door and down to the fitness center. I was able to refresh and prepare for the rest of my day in a quite locker room, void of selfish assholes that only wanted to steal my joy.
So take a moment to consider all of the things you do on a daily basis and how the smallest tasks can, and will, affect others around you. Making someone else’s day just a tiny bit better doesn’t have to require a lot of effort on your part. It’s not difficult, be a fucking decent human being.