Do I Really Have to Be Nice?

imageFace it, most of the time, being kind to others is the farthest from what we really want to do. It sometimes takes effort. Over time, I guess it becomes almost second nature. I try my best to do kind acts every now and again, but this week especially, I found myself thinking of being kind to others. I’ve always heard that we must all be kind to others as we don’t really know what battles they are fighting. What led to all this Zen-ish thinking this week? On Saturday, after an intense workout at the gym, I sent my friend a message telling her I wanted to go to the beach. I hadn’t seen her in weeks and I thought that’ll be a good time to catch up (She’s expecting a baby, so we needed to do some baby talking) I hurried home from the gym, made some puff puff, (Yup, you guessed it, I still have the puff puff fever.) got my beach stuff ready and headed to the beach. I took a taxi and all I really wanted was a peaceful ride to the beach. No silly chit-chats and definitely had no interest in listening to an old taxi driver try to flirt with me. I like me a taxi driver who can read moods and know when to engage his customers in a conversation and when not to. Well, this one seemed like he needed a lesson or two in that department. This taxi driver’s name is Cannonball. “They call me Cannonball because I’m big like a CannonBall.” Well. Cannonball really did have a lot of chat. “Oh, so you’re going to the beach? All by yourself?” I tried to appear busy on my phone while giving him a quick answer. “Yes, I’ll be there alone for most of the time. My friends will join me later.” “Where’s your husband or boyfriend? He should be going along with you?” he added. I told him i didn’t have a husband or a boyfriend and I really just enjoy spending most of my time alone. “Well, you see, there are certain things you need to make your life complete. A husband is one and a baby is another,” Now, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I had an issue with that statement, but didn’t want to engage him in a debate. Yes, having a family is important, companionship is great and all, but I feel many people have been pressured into that life because society thinks it’s a must to be in a relationship/have kids at a certain age. I refuse to let that drive me into unhealthy relationships. Anyways, I noticed the man just really wanted to talk, so I let him. My response for most part of the conversation was “uhmmm,” “really? “Yes,” and “no.” As he kept his mouth going throughout the nearly 10-minutes drive, I began to ask myself why I was avoiding conversation with this man, whose only “sin” was trying to be friendly and trying to vent a little. I’m all about venting after all, so why was I trying to shut this man out? I caved in and decided to be engaging. The conversation escalated quickly from me having a husband and children to him loosing his 26 year-old daughter 13 years ago. He went on to tell me about his only grand daughter, who was knocked down by a vehicle when she was just four years old and is now bound to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, with her speech not developed. “She knew every book in the Bible, she could count from 1-100 front and back,” he reminisced. “That little girl was bright.” Soon, he moved away from the tragedies in his life to probing me about Africa, as earlier in the ride, I told him I’m from Nigeria. “When you told me you’re from Africa, I couldn’t believe it,” Cannonball said. “If you follow the media, you’ll think Africa doesn’t have any beautiful girls, but look at you.” He went into serious grandpa flirting mode from there on. “When I was younger, I used to have a lot of girlfriends because I could talk,” he said. Indeed he could talk. lol “If I was younger, I could have convinced you into being my girlfriend.” Eventually, when I got the beach he asked, “So what will you write about me, since you work at the newspaper?” I couldn’t help but laugh. I knew I couldn’t write about him in the newspaper, hence this blog post about how he got me thinking of kindness. I left the ride thinking of how easy it is to make people feel really bad or how easy it is to make people feel good about themselves. Listening to that man vent took almost nothing out of me. We get so engrossed in ourselves that we forget life is all about helping others and not about us all the time. Kindness may not be too hard of a thing to practice after all. Kindness doesn’t cost any money. Kindness may be listening to a random stranger blab away, kindness may be smiling at some random person on your way. Be kind, Vou


11 thoughts on “Do I Really Have to Be Nice?

  1. Big wow…..especially at his tragedies…sometimes we just need to stop focusing on ourselves & give others a listening hear…gal,thank God u didn’t vex & stomp out of d taxi lol

  2. Yeah I knew two taxi drivers like that. One was elderly and the other was much older but not grandpaish yet. They were my official taxi drivers. The older before the younger. Only God knows how many unsolicited advice they gave me. The older one in particular. But they really did look out for me too. I could call them when I was in another taxi and the driver was acting up and they would give him a good tongue lash. The younger one would not shut up about his family (2 young boys and a milky skinned wife…Loool). Yeah who would have thought I would miss them. Kinda

  3. Kindness can take us places! Little by little I am trying my best to let go of my defensive side. Good still exists….

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