When I was in elementary school, I once found myself in a new classroom with zero familiar faces. As a little kid, this can feel like the most upsetting thing to ever happen in the world, but I decided to take action. I walked up to one of my classmates and asked, “Can we be friends?” She said yes, and we were acting like best buddies on the playground 20 minutes later.
Of course, the odds of that scenario happening to adults today are pretty slim. As we get older, we have more commitments and our time is precious, with a lot more on our plate than the task of making friends on the playground.
However, I often look back on that day and think about the innocent, nonjudgmental kindness that little kids often have toward each other. There are usually no ulterior motives or skepticism when they interact with one another, and lending a helping hand to someone who asks for one doesn’t take a second thought.
It’s important to take that good will and kindness and practice it every day in our busy, sometimes stressful lives today. A stranger might need it more than ever, and it might make all the difference when you least expect it.