Not So Random Acts of Kindness


By: Gaia Staff

You’re on your lunch break, so you duck into a fast food joint. You order your food, no problem, and sit down to eat. As you’re digging in, a man comes in. He’s a little scruffy and dirty-looking, perhaps homeless, but he appears harmless enough. Even so, as he walks to the counter, the cashier won’t even look at him. As he speaks to her in a request for water, she acts like he’s not even there, even as he repeats himself over and over. You see the entire exchange and watch curiously. Maybe you feel a twinge of embarrassment for him. Maybe you empathize with his expression that says he wishes he hadn’t come in at all, that he wishes he was anyone else but himself at that moment. You now have a choice: you can act, or you can sit back and do nothing, like everyone else in the restaurant.
This is the circumstance of the short film Your Move. It leaves the question unanswered of whether the cashier’s bias is based on his homeless status, or because he appears Middle Eastern in ethnicity. Regardless, it fills the audience with the distinct, uncomfortable feeling that this is not right. No one should be treated as less than human, no matter how they look on the outside. Of course, this is all easy when you are merely an audience member and not a participant. How many times have you ignored a homeless person, like when she’s shaking her cup and you slide your eyes away and mumble, “Sorry, no change”? We all do it, probably more than we like to admit, because we forget one of the most important things in the world: everyone is human. Everyone is worthy. And because everyone is worthy, as Your Move demonstrates, sometimes it only takes a little encouragement to begin the course of changing someone’s life. Many people are so used to being invisible, so you seeing them sets someone’s life into motion again, after such a long period of standstill, and it may require only a little kindness. So what if it inconveniences you for an extra couple of minutes or a few dollars? Isn’t the human soul worth it? So brighten someone’s day. Ignore the outside appearance and love them for their heart and person. Don’t be afraid to encourage them, regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity. We all deserve love, and it’s for that very reason we deserve to give it. It’s a simple message from Your Move, but one that is worth being reminded of.


 

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