60 Seconds

Posted by Jeffrey Griffin on 9/21/2014 5:00:00 AM

If asked, my school children will likely tell you "it cost nothing to be kind" is my go-to phrase. It rolls off the tongue. I treasure the thought. I say it all the time, probably too often for some ears.
Every teacher has a signature phrase. For Olon Shuler, it was "only in America." For Grey Cartwright, it was a rambling sermon about "this red pen will cut you down faster that any samurai sword ever could." For my mother, it was "drama is life-life is drama."
For me? "It cost nothing to be kind."
Now you know what I believe. Now you know how I aim to live. Kindness. Random acts or intentional moments. Either way, it matters. The world, for all practical purposes, is a small place and I'm a big believer in trying to get along while helping the man next door.
It doesn't seem like too much to expect. Or ask.
On more than one occasion I've asked my children, "would you rather be angry for one minute or happy for sixty seconds?" They invariably choose the sixty seconds. Smart children. Perhaps, even, wise.
Imagine my surprise this week when I shared some good news about some kids I know pretty well. I expected the adults in my life to surrender sixty seconds and say "well done. I'm proud of you." Maybe a pat on the head or an encouraging smile. But that did not happen. The sharing was problematic. The expectation was too much. Sixty seconds was too much to give. Sixty seconds was too much too share. So much for the man next door.
It cost nothing to be kind.
Maybe I'm wrong. It might cost sixty seconds. Maybe.
And for some, that was just too much to ask.
You reap what you sow, you reap what you sow.