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Kindness: It won’t kill you and you just might change the world

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30 seconds of humanity will spread grace to others ... and benefit you, too

3. 30 seconds of humanity

It isn’t asking a lot to be a good person. It’s not that difficult to ask someone how they’re doing. It just takes 30 seconds to be a decent human being … and you never know how much those simple interactions can impact a person.

The other day I was at our small town post office — again. (For my business, I’m mailing things on average three times a week.) For months, I’d been seeing one middle-aged woman each time I brought my packages in, and we’d inevitably strike up a conversation.

I’d ask her about her day.  She’d ask me about the kids. We’d talk about the weather.  The quietness or busyness of the shop … Nothing invasive. Just polite. Friendly.

Now, a lot of times, a stop at the post office means a lot of waiting in line. Everyone seems to be grumpy or frustrated. So when it would come my turn, I’d make sure I was in a great mood — and anyway, I don’t mind waiting.

On this day, though, our usual conversation started off with her telling me she was sad.

“Oh no, what’s going on?” I asked.

She explained that she was being transferred to a different office.

“I just want you to know that I will miss seeing you,” she said. “I don’t want to cry, but you always made my day. You were always a bright spot.”

I was taken aback, but assured her that I’d also enjoyed our little conversations … and that I would miss her too.

I left thinking that, truly, you never know who you influence! If she wouldn’t have said good-bye, I would’ve never known how much she needed my smile and few seconds of chitchat.

After that day, I’ve never seen her again. She doesn’t realize that God used her to reinforce in me an important lesson. I guess 30 seconds of humanity not only spreads grace — it brings it back too.

—Joan Sisler

Besides being a Mary Kay consultant, Joan Sisler is a wife and mom to four beautiful kids, ages 16 to 3. She tries to live by the Golden Rule, and to make sure that she’s always generous enough to smile.

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