Reason #6 | Kindness Is Kewl.
Are you embarrassed by that headline too? Whatever, you’ll remember it.
When you visit a new place, you’re usually curious about that culture’s customs, right? Aside from not pissing someone off by accident, being respectful of the cultural norm is a way of being thoughtful. Usually before heading off on an adventure you research if you need to leave a tip after a cab ride, how to politely ask where the bathroom is, or how to say thank you in your host’s language. In other words, you’re interested in being polite.
Sure, being polite is a form adhering to social norms, and being overly concerned about what people think of us is a giant red flag for our mental health (be yourself, comparison kills). But in this case, we’re talking about a general respect for cultures different than our own. Travelers understand the importance of finding these little things out - out of respect for the people and place they’re visiting.
Travel often enough, and you get into a habit of thinking about others more than you normally would. You get into kindness habits.
Kindness is giving a little more than necessary, just because it makes someone feel good.
How does general do-goodery apply to life at home? Sure, be respectful of people’s opinions and their freedom to share them. It’s not about being good, or being better.
Watch how good it makes you feel to do something nice for someone else. Leave a gigantic tip for the server after your lunch. Thank someone for your coffee. Compliment someone's shoes. Give your seat up for the very pregnant woman on the subway. Get into the habit of being kind - just because - and you’ll be in an annoyingly good mood more often. Which is kewl.