If there’s one thing I hate more than mornings, it’s the daily rush hour commute. I know I can’t be alone in my sentiments, statistics from 2016 stated that in the U.K., approximately 3.7 million spend over 2 hours getting to and from work. That’s a whole lot of people stuck in a traffic jam on the school run; thousands of us packed like sardines in the train on our way to work; not to mention, the amount of commuters getting very hot and bothered on the bus.
Rushed mornings make the commute considerably more painful to endure. But if there’s one thing that makes me extremely happy, and I mean so happy I could fist pump the air (American movie style), it’s when someone driving ahead gives way to me. It sounds silly I know, but when you’re late (and then some) to get to your new job, the small act of letting me into the traffic queue seems like the best thing in the world.
It’s not so much the fact that I’ve been given way that excites me. My state of elation is derivative of the notion that someone – a stranger, who does not know that I’m late, or that I’ve only just started my job – has sacrificed their place in a very long traffic queue. It’s just nice isn’t it? At the risk of reading too far into the psychology of the daily commute, I can’t help but feel a bit special (as well as extremely grateful).
The working life, or rather the commuting life, has got me thinking of daily small acts of kindness.
“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted” – Aesop.
And it’s true, you’d be surprised at how just one small gesture can make the greatest of differences to someone’s day.
Below is a list of ways in which you can sprinkle a little happiness day-to-day at no extra cost. I’m going to make a concerted effort to at least do one thing from this list each day. Why not try it?
- Hold open the door (no one likes a door slammed in their face).
- Help someone struggling with their bags (being 4’11” myself, help putting my bags in the cabin lockers on the plane is always appreciated).
- If you can, give up your seat (why not let someone else rest their weary feet on the train for a little while?).
- SMILE (the most efficient way to spread happiness!).
- Give way in traffic (you already know how happy this makes me).
- Remember to say please and thank you (having worked in retail, I can’t tell you how much it means to serve a friendly customer that is polite).
- Give someone a genuine compliment (it doesn’t have to be over the top, just something you’ve observed that you know the other person might appreciate).
Hopefully the list above will provide you with just a few ideas on how to spread happiness throughout your day. You never know, the next time that you give way when driving, you might make someone as ridiculously happy as me!
by Kaira Shetty