Friday, February 20, 2009

Acts of Random Kindness

On my way to work today I took my normal route down the bypass. As I exited the bypass and pulled up to the yield sign I found the normal morning traffic. At times it can be difficult to find an opening at this intersection. Today a nice lady in a maroon SUV let me out in front of her. That in itself is not much news. It happens every day all across America. After I gave a courtesy wave and drove down the road I glanced in the rear view mirror. The same lady had let out two other drivers for a total of three or the entire line. It is a sad commentary on our society that I consider this a newsworthy event. People today are normally too self-centered and cynical to help other people or to even say hello. As a dad I hate that this is the world where I will raise my child.

The movie Evan Almighty was considered by most a colossal flop. It took hundreds of millions to produce and didn't take in nearly that much. I watched because I love Steve Carell. He can make me laugh without saying a word. The movie, although not that good, had a message that I thought was wonderful. The whole plot of the movie was about building an Ark like the story of Noah in the Bible. In the end we come to find out that the ARK represents Acts of Random Kindness. If everyone tries to build their own ARK we can make a huge difference in the world. The love given by a simple helping hand can spread from giver to receiver and then out into the world.

Growing up I was taught to open the door for ladies. I still do this for my wife and any other women on a collision course with me and the door. I try to give women or older people a hand with their groceries when I pass by. Just a few weeks ago I helped a lady at the gas station by jump starting her car. I will admit that I am not the greatest with the ARK concept but I try my best.

It is absolutely imperative to me that I pass on these manners to Braden. I want him to say yes sir and no ma'am. I want him to hold the door for his Mom and for the other ladies nearby. I want him to say hello to people and offer kind words. When he is old enough to drive I want him to let people in all the time, maybe even 3 at a time like the lady today. I hope all you parents out there agree with me on this. We can teach our kids the proper way to interact with others, and in so doing make the world a better place. Chivalry doesn't have to be dead after all.

8 comments:

(F)redddy said...

There's an annual event held on September 11, called "Pay It Forward". While it's one of my most favorite events to participate in I much prefer to pay it forward throughout the year, and my life. I'm glad there's an overwhelming desire for folks to participate in this annual event, but it's nice to know there's others out there that recognize chilvary ain't, in fact, dead.

Great post, and welcome to the Dad-Blogs.

WeaselMomma said...

I think that's a great goal to teach your son. A little thing can make a big difference in someone else's day.

Daddy Files said...

I think manners should be taught to every kid and they are of the utmost importance. However, maybe it's because I'm a Boston driver but letting that many people into traffic is a problem for me. Letting one in is fine, but three? That would earn the person letting the cars in a might blast from the horn if I were behind them.

But otherwise, couldn't agree with you more.

Joeprah said...

I think the best way to pass these values on is through example. Modeling respect and manners is the best way to teach it. I'm on board with you.

Otter Thomas said...

Everyone: I am glad we agree. Judging by what I see in public every day we are in the minority.

Daddy Files: My example does not fit too well with you big city folks. Know that what I consider traffic wouldn't even be a blip on the radar in Boston or any other big city.

Melisa with one S said...

Yup. Well said. If you want your boy to learn these things, he will, especially if you model them for him.

Consistency will get him there, and it sounds like you've got that covered. ;)

ciara said...

thx for being a gentleman and raising your son to be one, too. it's amazing how selfish people get these days. and kudos to the lady letting three cars out :)

came via dad blogs :)

New-Dad-Blog said...

I try to always open the door for my wife and any other woman that happens to be there. Two older ladies at Village Inn stopped and thanked me and said how nice it was that a young man would hold the door for them.

It was chessy but it made me feel good. I plan on making sure my little girl sees that this is how a man should act. It will cut down on her falling for some s*it head and will ultimately cut down on the amounts of beatings I will have to hand out to s*it heads later one. . .