From my sister, Mary Alyssa:
I had to go to the DMV yesterday to get license plates. I went to one that is normally not very busy and where I have had much luck in the past getting in and out in record time. That wasn't the case yesterday. I waited nearly 45 minutes for the 9 people between me and my number to be dealt with it. It wasn't fun. We all know the DMV is pretty much the 5th or 5th level of hell. But I get up to the window and I have to do a VIN verification because it was an out of state car I was registering. So I get up there I ask the woman helping me how she's doing. She looks at me suspiciously and says fine. So then we go outside to do the verification and I just try to engage her -"isn't a lovely day? It was raining when I walked in and now it's so beautiful." She was still highly suspicious. When we were almost finished with that part I said something like "you're so efficient maybe you want to take another minute and soak up the sun before we go back in." And her face changed and she smiled and lifted her face to the sun and drank it in. And she looked at me as we were walking in and she said "thanks, I needed that." And I replied with "thank YOU, I can't even imagine how challenging your job is but I appreciate that you are willing to do it and that you are here to help me today." She broke into the biggest grin I have seen in a while. We chatted some more as she was entering all of my information and I paid etc. I thanked her again and walked out. As I was walking out I heard her greet the next person and she did it with sincere kindness and not the same haggard way she greeted me.
NEVER EVER EVER underestimate how far a little kindness can go. Seriously. If there is one thing this world and this time needs more - it is most definitely kindness. Try it.