random acts of kindness
Californians are particularly happy, friendly and helpful. They smile a lot and it’s not odd at all to get smiled at by a complete stranger. When I’m running on the trail it actually happens all the time. And I try to smile back. Not always, sometimes you’re just preoccupied with your own stuff, but definitely more often than I’d done it back in Germany. During my visits in Germany I’ve been trying to smile at strangers, too. Occasionally people smile back but in general they’ve looked at me more confused and rather suspiciously.
This friendliness of Californians is one of the things I really appreciate. It just makes your everyday life a little brighter and easier. I know that the Germans like to spread the prejudice about Americans being so superficial and that all the happiness is not real (sometimes I want to agree to that), but: I honestly think it’s worth trying to be a little bit more friendly and kind to your fellow man. It will make a difference.
That’s why I’m posting these pics I spotted at my daughters’ school last week. Research shows that you can teach kindness and that our willingness to help other people, even strangers is flexible. It can be shaped be small changes in perception. I think it’s absolutely great that schools implement kindness training in their curriculum. Our kids will be able to spread this kindness to their peers, their families, their communities, the world.