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Insignificant Kindnesses

September 26, 2011 Friends, Fun 3 Comments

When I talk with my girlfriends, each of us knows it’s a safe environment to be honest. And while we don’t let it turn into a total bitch-fest, we certainly welcome the opportunity to vent about the goings-on in our lives. We’ll hit the high and low points on work, lament at our failure to stop eating carbs, and then the talk inevitably turns to all the wrong-doings our respective husbands/boyfriends/lovers have committed.

Can you BELIEVE he rinsed his dish and then left it in the sink?!? I mean, the dishwasher is RIGHT THERE. It’s like he’s TRYING to pick a fight!

(The above example is for dramatization purposes only and nothing I would ever think or say, GREG.)

Sometimes, depending on the infraction, we skip over the work drivel and get right to the guy stuff. In these cases, it isn’t things like a dirty dish left in the sink. It’s things like … well … bigger than that. Remember the “safe environment” I talked about? I’m not going to sell anyone out!

In all honesty, venting is important. And in many cases, venting to friends just to get validation is exactly what we SHOULD do. But it’s a slippery slope. Next thing you know, the ventee chimes in and then a third bottle of wine is opened and everyone thinks of more wrong-doings just to one-up the other on how horrible her significant other is. It’s a slippery slope indeed.

Here’s what rarely never happens: recounting the nice things our guys do.

Why not? Is it because Misery loves company and Happiness is a bitch who is destined to a life of solitude? Is that true??

The worst of it is that it’s like we’re all on the lookout for someone to be mean to us. Like we are just dying to tell our friends how some asshole went first at the 4-way stop even though it was clearly my turn and I got home 5 seconds later as a result. OH THE HUMANITY!

I am starting a movement. Something that celebrates the insignificant kindnesses we impart on one another. We all have the opportunity — nay, RESPONSIBILITY — to not only do kind things to and for one another, but to tell other people about them.

Think about it. If we spent the same amount of time talking about the nice things that our loved ones are doing for us — seemingly insignificant things! — rather than bitching about the infractions (which are often unintended or misinterpreted), we would be much happier people individually and collectively.

Taking it one step further, what if we spent our time looking for the good?!

Let me give you some examples from my life — things Greg has done for me that I have noticed but didn’t give him proper credit for:

  • Cleaned my bike chain. He didn’t tell me he was going to do it or had done it. I just got on to ride the next time and it was squeaky clean and well-oiled.
  • Unloaded the dishwasher. I hate this task. He did it while I was sleeping, without waking me up with the clanking of the dishes.
  • He used my car for a small errand and filled it with gas before bringing it back.

See? Insignificant things. Household things. Things that would not make or break any relationship. Except, each one gave me pause and I was grateful. I thanked him for these things, but they’re not the kinds of things I would bring up to girlfriends in a vent-fest. AND YET THEY SHOULD BE. If I’m going to bitch about dirty dishes in the sink, I should rave about clean bike chains.

I leave it to you, dear readers, to look for the good in those around you. And beyond that, look for reasons to be insignificantly kind. This just might catch on.

I would love to hear of the insignificant kindnesses you have overlooked and/or those that you have imparted on others. My biggest wish is that you SPREAD THE WORD.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Marti says:

    This is GREAT Molly. This is something I often think about but rarely stick accomplish. It is so easy to complain and so often “easy does it”. Here are a few insignificant things that Jr has done that I don’t give proper credit:

    He takes the garbage out every week…I never have to think about it.
    On Saturday he took the kids to put a cross where he had to bury our horse weeks ago, while I was shopping with the girls. He made the cross with his name on it and even thought to take a picture of the kids. I had no idea he was doing any of this.
    When I get home from teaching a late exercise class he has made supper, helped Takota finish writing a poem, folded clothes, bathed the kids and has them ready for bed and all I have to do is warm up my supper (already on a plate) say good night to the kids and relax.

    I so often look past these things and expect more. I get so wrapped up in my list of to do (that always seems so much longer than his) and forget the things I don’t have to worry about. Sometimes it feels like I make it a “woe is me” competition. We should look for the good in everything and make it girl talk…even the good in our lives in general I know my girl talk rarely (never) consists of the good things going on as you said.

    Thanks! Good work on the blogs!

    • Molly says:

      Thanks for stopping by (and commenting), Marti! Sounds like you’ve got a good man in Jr! I’m the same way about unfairly assuming my to-do list is longer/harder than my husband’s. And the keeping score isn’t helping anything either. :-)

  2. […] It took me a week to pick the bike up. Then it rained for about a week after that, so it was awhile before I got back on my new ride. And believe me, I wasn’t that excited about it anyway. I had the guys cut more off the seat post, and I’ve had Greg cut off even more twice now. I also bought three new saddles to try out, and I think I’ve found one that works. Greg made a bunch of tweaks to the seat, seat tilt, and aero bar positions before my next long ride. He then followed me in the car with a bevy of tools and made many tweaks along the way for the first few miles. This was priceless — and much greater than an insignificant kindness! […]

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