In the Eye of the Beholder

Virginia - Overland Park, Kansas
Entered on January 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Every day I wake up, hit the alarm clock, and bargain with myself. “If I skip doing anything fancy with my hair, I can sleep 10 more minutes.” Almost habitually, I end up sleeping too late and rushing off to school in a whirlwind of activity. This does not bode well for my attendance record. Although this is one of my many faults, I always manage to see the best in myself. I think, “Well, I may be constantly late, but at least I try hard to be a good student,” or “I constantly procrastinate, but I always tell my mom I love her before I leave.” I try to apply this outlook to others as well. I strive to see beyond the surface, to look beyond the initial façade and into their hearts. That is where their true beauty lies.

I believe that there is good inside of everyone: a kindness that lurks below the surface. It gives me hope to try to find the good in everyone. This notion may seem naïve and trite, but it has given me the drive to greet each day with a smile on my face.

People can surprise you; you just have to keep your eyes open… I can remember an uneventful day a couple of months ago. I was rushing to the library (no big surprise there) to clock in for my shift. I glanced over at my mailbox, checking for memos. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something that captured my attention. I leaned closer to investigate. It was a bright purple sticky note with a dime taped to it. The sticky note read, “Ginny, your mom dropped this at the drive-thru window. –Pat*.” I was overwhelmed. I had been feeling so disconnected at work, and this made me feel like I belonged.

That simple gesture filled me with joy. Pat must have gone out in the dark, found the dime, and written the note for me. That act of kindness renewed my faith in people once more. I could have cried. I went to Pat and gave her a hug. She only smiled and said, “It was nothing.”

I spent the rest of my shift with a smile on my face the size of Texas. I passed on my warm feelings to the library patrons- discussing their favorite books and showing them mine. Smiles spread to everyone I came in contact with that day.

Now I have that noted taped to the wall in my room as a reminder that kindness is just around the corner, and it can be found in everyone you meet. You just have to be open to it.

*Name has been changed for privacy reasons.