Please Be Kind. Set Aside Your Phone.

It was a sign at a coffee shop:

“Please be kind, and set aside your phone while ordering your coffee.”

The entire coffee shop emphasized kindness…among customers and workers, people in general, and the world. The sign went along with the theme, and I wondered, “Was is really necessary?”

Then I remembered being in line at a restaurant behind someone on her phone. She was trying to get orders from other people. We were in Subway, so she stayed on her phone the entire time she went through the line in order to relay each step of the order from the bread to the meat and cheese to toasting and heating options, toppings and condiments, cookies, chips, and drinks. The workers struggled to determine when she was speaking to them and when she was speaking to the people on the other end of the phone conversation. She had multiple sandwiches to order, so she walked back and forth, asked clarifying questions, gave instructions, corrected the instructions when someone changed his or her mind, and so on. It was a long process, and it wasn’t very respectful for everyone else in the restaurant, including the people trying to serve her from behind the counter.

It was unkind.

So perhaps it is necessary for people to post reminders for people to show kindness and define what kindness looks like.

Sadly, we have forgotten. Or in some cases, we’ve never learned.

It’s not just about setting aside your phone. It’s about using a kindness filter with everything you say and do. Consider others.

Kindness always sets something aside, and much of the time, it’s yourself.

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