Unexpected results from kindness

None of us have ever felt such a heightened sense of anxiety.  Some people cope with medication, others by consuming more alcohol than they normally would.  I’ll make no comment, other than quote the words of John Lennon. “Whatever gets you through the night, it’s alright”.

In this current climate, it’s more important than ever to treat everyone with respect and kindness.  If you notice your elderly neighbour’s bins haven’t been put out on collection day, check if they’re okay – standing six metres from their front door.

And if you see the bin men and recyclers, who are all doing a fantastic job for us, have left the same neighbour’s bin out on the pavement, why not just put it inside their front gate or on their driveway?  Then, when you get home, wash those hands!

Acts of kindness or a demonstration of good manners, performed without the expectation of a reward can lead to unexpected results.

In London’s East End, in the early 50s, a none-too-well-off mother wanted her teenage son to get on in the world and thought that ladies’ hairdressing could be his door of opportunity.

She and her son took a tuppenny ‘bus ride ‘Up West’ and door-stepped several hairdressing salons, trying to interest each owner in taking the boy on as an apprentice – without any luck.

By late afternoon she was exhausted but thought she’d have one last try at a famous Bond Street salon where she managed to speak to the owner in his private office.  The owner was sympathetic but told them he had no openings for an apprentice.

The mother and boy thanked him and stood up to leave. As they did, the boy opened the office door for his mother, allowing her to leave first.  Seeing this, the owner called them back and said “Young man, your good manners indicate to me you’re respectful of women.  You can start here tomorrow!”

The young man’s name was Vidal Sassoon and that act of good manners opened up a world of fame and wealth that he and his mother could never have dreamed of.