I am a very introspective person. For a long as I can remember, I have looked upon admirable people and analyzed why others respect and love them. I do the same for annoying, disrespected people. It may sound shallow but this process of defining my own character has made me confident that the person I am is the best kind of person I can be.
I have a distinct memory of walking to lunch in 7th grade. I was wearing my signature pink tank top with braids in my hair and I was walking with my friends. I wasn’t part of the popular crowd. They were all nice enough to me but I didn’t love their emphasis on disobeying your parents and “hooking up” with random other people in the group, so I tended to stay away.
As I was walking by, one of the girls, Hannah, smiled, waved and yelled a big hello. Throughout school, Hannah was one of the only “popular” girls that was never ashamed to treat the “lesser people” with warmth and love. In that moment, I felt wonderful. Included. Like she really looked at me and saw me. I wanted to make others feel like that too, so I started smiling, waving, and saying a warm hello.
That habit changed me. It changed the course of my life. What I have learned from friendly hellos to almost-strangers is that everyone needs to be loved and listened to. If you can provide an ear, you have found a friend.
Yesterday I read an article, Angry is a habit, by an awesome blogger, Seth Godin. Godin remarks that our habits define our moods and our moods define our character. If a person were to cut you off on the highway, would you angrily stomp on the gas and pass them? Or would you take a deep breath and give them the benefit of the doubt: maybe there’s a woman in labor in that car! Haha. That may be a hyperbole but you get my point.
Each of your habits come together to define you. So who will you be? The warm, loving, encouraging, Hannah-type person? Or the angry douche-bag who just cut off a woman in labor? It’s your choice.
I hope you’re all having wonderful Tuesdays. I am currently waving and smiling at my computer screen, “Hello!”