Thank You for Being Kind in a World That Is Often So Cruel

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[Ed. Note, this is a guest post from Allison. Allison is a Midwest transplant who came to Utah for the mountains and waterfalls. She currently works with the disabled community, and adores the open hearts present amongst her clients. She loves reading, good friends, drinking coffee in the shower, and making art.]

People, simply because they are people, deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.  This is the branch of feminism that I align myself with, and one that I am proud to see growing.

Yesterday, I found myself in an interesting situation.  If circumstances had been different, it could have been a very bad situation.  I’ve been friends with Kelly for about a year and have recently started hanging out with some of her other friends.  Last night, a few of us were over at Bryan’s house drinking and playing pool.  My week was stressful, I have a potentially unhealthy tendency to drink whatever is put in front of me, and by the end of the night I was good and drunk.

Bryan gave me some clothes to wear to bed and showed me the room I could sleep in.  Soon enough, I felt his cats jumping into the bed with me.  I got up and started trying to catch them so I could sleep in my rum-induced peace.  Bryan laughed at me, but helped me catch the cats.  I got into bed and Bryan closed the door to keep the cats out.  All of the sudden, I got nervous.  This was not the best situation-I was drunk, already in bed, and alone with a guy that I had known for a week.  He asked if I needed anything, then kissed my forehead, told me good night, and he walked out of the room, because he is not a douche bag.

This was a guy who had been nice to me, hadn’t given me any bad vibes, and seemed like a sincerely nice person.  Unfortunately, those who identify as women, minorities, those with disabilities (etc, etc, etc), can find themselves in situations that suddenly feel not-quite-safe.  Sometimes these moments occur with people who have given us the creeps from the beginning, and sometimes it happens with people who haven’t.  Sometimes these moments turn into completely unsafe, horrible moments, and sometimes we are lucky to be in the presence of someone who is respectful and kind.

As I was mulling this over on my drive back to my apartment this morning, I realized that we rarely take a moment to thank those who treat us well.  There is a part of me that feels like we shouldn’t have to thank people for treating us respectfully—respect feels like it should be a right, not a privilege.  But the reality is this:  Some people choose to act respectfully in a society that does not demand it.  They speak to a person with a disability with courtesy and respect to the individual’s personhood.  They tuck drunk girls into bed and make sure that they have water and enough blankets.  They understand that partnerships should be respected and granted equal rights under the law.  They call people by their name and preferred gender pronouns.  They love, respect, and honor the rights of the individuals around them, because they understand your humanity as well as their own.

These are people who deserve our thanks, because they are good people.  Take a moment today and send some positive energy, a thank you note, a hug, or a big old smile to someone who has given you kindness when the rest of the world didn’t think you deserved it.  These people are among us!

Comments

  1. Aw, I love this Allison! Great post! I’m glad you were able to get drunk and have fun and sleep peacefully! Sometimes (most times) a guy not pulling a move (or at least not in the first 14 minutes of meeting) makes them that much more attractive! =] And yay for not driving drunk!

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