DMV: A Lesson in Compassion?

On my quest for inner peace, I'm trying to think of difficult situations as growth opportunities. Before work this morning (and yesterday morning) I had to make a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a notoriously stressful place. Yesterday I went in expecting the best, but my hopes were quickly dashed as I approached the window and was sent away to bring back more paperwork. The woman helping me had no sympathy, which made me even more frustrated, and I walked away fuming (I was screaming at the top of my lungs...in my head, of course). But today I tried to take a different approach.


On my journey to DMV I practiced deep breathing and tried to relax. I also started to think about the workers there. I reminded myself that they, like myself, just want to be happy. So, I made up my mind that I would maintain a caring and kind attitude (no matter how they reacted to me).

I approached with a friendly smile and a simple joke, which set us off to a good start. Then when faced with a glitch, instead of freaking out, I took a deep breath, laughed and made a joke, which eased the tension immediately. The process went fairly smoothly after that and I left feeling better than the day before. I wouldn't say I was on cloud nine, but I was happy that I acted in a compassionate, patient manner, rather then causing others unhappiness with my frustrations. Maybe next time I'll bring cookies.

Simple kindnesses can go a long way. A kind hello to the building security man or a warm smile to a the store clerk can add a lift to both your days.

How do you practice kindness and compassion in you daily life?

ADVERTISEMENT

L’Oreal Fellow Lisa Poulikakos Uses Engineering to Improve Breast Cancer Diagnostics

By bringing light and nanosurfaces to medicine, Poulikakos aims to make quick, precise breast cancer diagnosis accessible to all.

Science and Technology

Good Nutrition Can Contribute to Keeping Covid-19 and Other Diseases Away

Healthy eating isn't only about weight control: overindulging in unhealthy food can potentially harm your immune system.

Nutrition & Movement

Heart Health During Pregnancy and Beyond

As you talk to your doctor about your reproductive health and other factors we typically associate with pregnancy, you should also pay close attention to your heart.

Pregnancy & Postpartum