Okay. I would like to believe that while I do complain sometimes (looking at you, grad school), I also express my thankfulness on a regular basis. Whether it be through cooking dinner while Zach is doing homework or sending a friend a “good luck” text, I try to let people know that I am thankful for their presence in my life.
Chicago does not always share my values.
While my mom was here (aka the most verbal person in the world), she pointed out multiple occasions when she felt that people “just aren’t as nice in Chicago as they are in Kansas”. People don’t typically make eye contact while walking because unfortunately when you do, people will ask you for something- it might be to sign up for a fundraiser, to listen to them talk about a cause, for a few dollars, for a bus pass, for a ride, etc., but people don’t just speak to say “hi, hope you’re having a good day”. That is one of the things that I miss about Kansas, and I try to at least say hi to the people I see in the hallways at school or in the hospital to make up for that.
However, today I heard something that made me feel kind of embarrassed. I take public transportation a good deal of the time, and I remember always exiting out the front doors at KU so I could thank the bus driver. Here, that is not the case- sometimes I am actually not thankful because they drove terribly, but other times I just don’t want the awkward interaction because they aren’t always nice back. Nonetheless, a lady (probably a tourist from her touristy Chicago t-shirt), walked out of the bus today and yelled “Thank You” to the bus driver. I was sitting towards the front so I was able to hear the bus driver say, “You’re Welcome”, and then she said, “Nobody has said anything to me this whole day”.
I feel like that is something Chicago is often lacking- a sense of thankfulness. This city is beautiful and lively and I love it, but it is also so rushed, secretive, and busy. This lady probably sees hundreds of people on her bus route each day, and the fact that we are all benefiting from this service but don’t say thank you to the person who has to navigate through Chicago traffic (a feat in its own) is unfortunate and embarrassing.
So, starting today I am getting my Kansas-perspective back when it comes to being thankful, because I am thankful. I am thankful for everyone, whether it be the barista at Starbucks (like really, really thankful), the bus driver, the nurse who took an inexperienced student like me under her wing, the person who pressed the floor button for me in the elevator, I mean everyone that I interact with on a daily basis.
Imagine how much better Chicago would be if we all just took the time to thank people! I challenge you to thank every person who does something kind to you this week, and see how happy you feel afterwards; I bet you’ll be surprised!
PS- this is a perfect time to say “thank you” to all of my lovely readers- you are SO appreciated and loved. I am always in awe by my views, and you are all fantastic, wonderful people. XOXO.