May 30, 2024

In A Fractured World, Kindness Can Keep Us Together

1.3 min read| Published On: May 30th, 2024|

By Gina Horan

In A Fractured World, Kindness Can Keep Us Together

1.3 min read| Published On: May 30th, 2024|

It’s Cool to be Kind

I’ve been in hospitality since I was 15 years old and have heard my share of customers losing their temper over lost reservations, burnt steaks and spilled red wine. 

Clearly, some issues are more egregious than others, but 99% of the time, the reasons for blowing one’s stack are not life-altering nor earth-shattering. 

I always wonder, why do we fixate on the yelling guy? Why can’t we remember that lady who left $100 because the whole restaurant sang her happy birthday after her husband passed away? It’s a head-shaker for sure.

As I get older, I am trying to embrace all the positives and daily kindnesses that come my way instead of obsessing over the one family who dined-and-dashed back in 1998. 

In our world where nastiness, tribalism and a permission structure for cruelty seems increasingly ordinary, I remind myself every day that kindness is everywhere. And I feel like we should notice it and not take the little things for granted. 

It may be a Southern thing, but I’m not sure I’ve ever opened the door for myself at a convenience store since I landed in Florida even though I admire it each time I see such courtesy. More often than not, a trucker or regular Joe will let me in front of them when I am driving through traffic or construction. And guess what? You can call me “ma’am” all the live long day and I’ll walk away with a smile thinking ‘how respectful!’ 

So, I’m putting this challenge out for all: try some simple kindness. Open the door for that senior. Compliment your coworker’s dress, tattoo or hairstyle. Thank the cashier at the grocery store while using their name. Think the best of people. Try not to judge them, even if they seem to have alternative beliefs. 

I’m convinced that we have way more in common than not, and we can agree to disagree then hug it out. It doesn’t take that much effort . . . but a little kindness might go a long way. 

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About the Author: Gina Horan

Gina moved to central Florida in August of 2021 from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and spent 10 years as a fashion editor, columnist and food writer for The Knight Ridder Newspaper group. She was also a photo stylist and covered concerts, fashion shows and festivals all over Northern California. In 2000, she joined KSAN radio as a morning show co-host and produced the news and sports content there for 4 years. She also covered travel, events and the restaurant scene for KRON-Bay TV. She is a veteran bartender and has worked in hospitality on and off since high school. Her passions include travel, road trips, history books, baseball, tasting menus and most of all, landing in a new city with no map or guidebook. Gina lives in Oxford with her mom, cats and baby hamster.

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