Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What Kindness Isn't

Photo Description: the image of a broken window with the word Lies in red letters behind the break.
We pulled over and the driver opened the door and then stepped aside to wait for the woman who was making her way from the door, walking slowly, to the bus. When she got on I recognized her immediately but had no idea where I knew her from. She nodded at me, but did not speak. The driver got her to her seat and strapped in, she thanked him. The voice. I recognized the voice.

I have always been good with faces but bad with places. If a person is out of context, I have no idea who they are in relationship to me. I know I know them but from where. If you are wondering how I am with names - forget it because I forget them. But I knew I knew here.


I knew I liked her.

But where from. Although the rest of my life is messy, I have a fairly organized mind. I began to work. I knew that I didn't know her professionally, so slice off a huge group of people. I knew that I didn't really know her socially, never had dinner or anything. Slice of a much smaller group. I kept winnowing down. I knew I was on track when I thought through the category of people who I have regular contact with in stores, restaurants and the like.

Not a waitress.

Not a clerk.


I was pretty sure I had it.

When I got off I turned to look at her and said, "Are you the woman who used to work over at the movie theatre?" She looked up, surprised, and said, "Yes."

I got excited, "I thought that was you, we really miss you over there!"

She frowned.


"Are you just being kind? I find it insulting when people say nice things to be kind. It's an awful kind of lying."

"No, no, I'm not being kind, you must remember we always chatted when we saw you."

"Yes. I remember."

"Good to see you."

"You too, and thanks for recognizing me."

I thought it was an odd thing to be thanked for until I realized what I was being thanked for.


clairesmum said...

Truth. And a genuine connection, for a moment or two. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...saying things to be kind is an awful kind of lying. Really? Saying things out of pity only perhaps, but saying things to be kind? Saying things untrue, not really meaning it perhaps. We should always be kind. We should always be truthful. If someone asks me how I like their new dress, and I honestly think it is not a flattering fit, I'm not going to say so. The dress is bought and paid for and worn. I will always find something kind to say about it if asked, like the color, or the sleeves or neckline. That is a truth. I don't think saying something kind is lying. How said is it that even the kind things we say is measured and weighed according to the individual's scale. Even if you were saying something to be kind, to maybe cheer, encourage or to notice, you are liar? I find that sentence odd.