THE KINDNESS IN YOUR SMILE – A Relating to Humans Moral Issues Feature

As I have recently welcomed two kind, loveable, and addictively cute kiddie canines into my family, I feel especially drawn to this telling insight into our unpredictable human nature, as revealed through the predictably happy nature that dogs seem to possess. I would call this short life lesson a morality tail of sort, and it is my pleasure to share it with you.

by kimscaravelli

By its simplest definition, “kindness” is just a synonym for friendliness. And I like to believe that I am a friendly and therefore “kind” person (also funny, lovable, uber-smart and modest). I have been known to help little old ladies shove grocery carts across parking lots and I almost always offer up a sympathetic smile to parents wrestling with crying toddlers. But I recently came to notice that my kindness has a certain ‘shallow’ quality to it that is not flattering. You know what little old ladies and crying toddlers have in common? Cuteness. And apparently my willingness to offer up kindness may be in direct proportion to the cuteness level of the recipient.

Homeless girl strumming guitar and sitting with cute dog will definitely get a smile and a couple of bucks but smelly homeless guy … I’m more inclined to start looking up at the clouds or out into traffic until I am well past him.

If you want to really learn about true self, may I suggest that you start walking around the streets with a four-legged companion. Your hairy friend will have no problem offering up kindness to every person you pass. He will wag his tail (or, in the case of my poor, tail-less schnauzer, maniacally shake his entire back end). He may even pull on the leash a bit, in an effort to get a little closer to the object of his affection. This is where the truth will be revealed…

When that tail wag (or maniacal shake) is directed at a sweet little old lady or a toddler, you will feel the corners of your mouth turn up. You might even offer up a quick nod of the head or some inane comment about the weather as you pass. But what happens when the person you are sharing the sidewalk with is the smelly homeless guy? Will you share a kind, friendly moment with him too? (Two-thumbs up if you can confidently answer ‘yes’). Or will you give the leash a little tug and hurry past?

The more I walked the more I noticed my reactions to people, but you know what else I noticed? Once I really looked at smelly homeless guy (which was unavoidable because you can’t tug a 45 lb dog past anything he is interested in sniffing) I came to see that he was far more sad than scary. And when I smiled at him the first time, he smiled back, and it was a beautiful smile.

Kindness happens naturally when you really look at someone. That’s what my dog taught me.



13 Replies to “THE KINDNESS IN YOUR SMILE – A Relating to Humans Moral Issues Feature”

  1. I love this. Congratulations on that last smile. When I lived in NYC (all my life until I was 43 (I’m now 58), I was close friends with a homeless man and his girlfriend. They would shower at my apartment, and we would talk endlessly about the world. He was incredibly smart, but had some sort of mental illness that kept him from a “normal” life. He would never go to a shelter, no matter how cold the night. I found out his hiding places, where the cops couldn’t harass him, and he could stay warm and out of the fray. I was sad to leave NYC on so many levels, one of which was leaving my friend Michael.

    I saw Michael a few years later, by chance, on the streets of the Upper West Side. He didn’t recognize me, and I was devastated to see that his illness had conquered him – or so it appeared. My friendship with Michael taught me never to look away from a homeless person, unless he or she was acting dangerously. I always smile, often say hello, and sometimes get into wonderful conversations. My now 15 year-old daughter has learned this from me, and she speaks to homeless people on the streets without fear. Their responses are amazement and love. Often tears. Always smiles. She hears a lot of “God bless you” wishes. I know I have done something good as a mom.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a beautiful post!
    But only kind people will appreciate the kindness of dog & learn from it…there are those others who will focus only on the bark.
    Much need of kindness in this world!
    May all be open to learning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah when I was a spare-changing punk, my friends and I would always have better luck with girl/guy pair-up. “My girlfriend and I are so hungry…” my friend would say *wry laugh*


  4. I would like to thank everyone for their kind comments on my post. Today is a rainy, cold day and it’s nice to feel all warm and fuzzy, at least on the inside!

    Liked by 1 person


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