November 17, 2013

Time for Good People. ~ Jenny Fratt

Today is one of those days where I’ve been reminded that in the heart of this world, there are good people.

Most of the time I have faith that every person I pass by in a crosswalk, or get in line behind at Trader Joe’s, or roll my mat out next to in yoga class is, indeed, a good person. But it’s not always so obvious. A lot of the time, we have to be reminded that almost all the people around us are inherently good, even if the reminder is small and subtle.

Today in preparation for my 7:30am yoga class, I spent time mentally blocking out any thoughts about my plans for later that morning, which included the super awesome and wonderful task of going into the cable company to get my bill adjusted for the month. This company has the worst customer experience I’ve ever been so unlucky to encounter.

Actually let me rephrase: it’s not an experience, it’s a nightmare. My roommate Laura and I have spent the past year unsuccessfully planning out how to switch cable companies (we can’t, they are the only provider in our area) and there has also been discussion of making signs to picket and protest outside their building.

So yes, they have caused us to go a little insane.

It’s a good thing I went to yoga this morning to get myself in a calm and peaceful mindset before my reluctant trip to the-cable-company-who must-not-be-named, because otherwise this might have gone differently. But I walked in, lugging my unnecessarily giant HD cable box, took a number and then took a seat. My number was called a few minutes later and I walked up to the counter to face a young, scruffy-looking guy who was probably around my age. His eyes looked tired like he hadn’t had his coffee yet; but not grumpy or groggy.

More like he just woke up from a nice little nap. We had a little exchange, good morning, how are you, yadda yadda. Then it was time to get down to business. I busted out my way-too-high bill for the month and got ready to demand a discount and adjustments on my account. But before I could even start complaining, voila! He adjusted my bill and gave me an additional $25 discount credit for the month.

At the end of it I told him how much I appreciated his help and he let me know what a pleasant customer I was.

Imagine that! The cable company gave me a compliment! I left the store smiling and feeling silly for letting myself get so worked up beforehand. I was silently thankful and driving happily to start the workday.

I started to realize how much one person’s simple kindness had already altered my day. I realize that the cable company will most likely continue to be a pain in my ass and that the guy who helped me out might have only been nice to me because he was happy to see a 23-year-old girl walk up to the counter instead of the grey, homeless-looking man behind me in line.

But regardless, that little five-minute exchange was one of those moments, silly as it sounds, that reminded me of what I mentioned before, how important it is to remember that almost all people are inherently good.

And a little action by you or me or the cable guy is all it takes to remind people of that goodness, and to inspire them to spread it to the other people they encounter throughout their day, their week, their life.

You might be thinking that this has nothing to do with yoga, and this blog is supposed to be about yoga, so what gives? But what I’ve realized is that in every busy, crazy, even frustrating day that goes by, there is time to take a step back and think about stuff like this.

There is time to go out of your way to be nice to someone.

There is time to be nice to oneself. It might not seem like it every single day, but it’s always true. Taking an hour out of each of my days to come to my mat and do something nice for myself leaves me with the will to spread the happiness I feel to other people and beyond. And continue spreading that happiness to the next day and the next.

And isn’t that what it’s really all about?

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Assistant Editor: Gabriela Magana/Editor: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: Nick Moore via Pixoto}

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