The Power of Kindness

I’ve always been a contrarian, so I knew that as soon as I threw myself fully into a Yoga Teacher Training, I was going to find it really hard to be a good yogini. I tried to stop it. When I felt the urge to complain about something, I would put my hands in prayer prose and say, “I am going to be a yoga teacher. And I have given up anger.”

But as it turns out, as my training has moved along, I’ve been less sunshiney than I was all summer long. I’ve started to get annoyed at people on the train again. And people on the street. And people who are rude to me when I try to pay for things. But the other day, I walked into McNally Jackson Books and the person interrupting my flow was trying to give me a dollar.

It was a Tarcher/Penguin staffer promoting the book, “The Power of Kindness.” As a marketing tool, they were just being kind.

This is me, getting my dollar:

The truth is, it did put me in a good, creative mood. I started to think that there might be hope for books, after all! I sat down at a table wrote very enthusiastic post for PopMatters/Book Bytes:

“Essentially, The Power of Kindness is using a marketing strategy that adheres to the principles of the semantic Web; thus, it suggests a glimmer of hope for the publishing industry. People have argued that print is dying because people don’t want to pay for reading material anymore, but suddenly, today, while clutching my dollar, it dawned on me. It’s not about money, it’s about the power of kindness. [read more here]”

Then I went on my merry way and decided to use my dollar to buy a delicious Dr. Pepper, something I’ve been trying to avoid in the recession.

Man at Deli: 20 dollars.
Me: Cool! Because I’ve got millions of dollars I’m just looking to throw away!
Man: Great. Throw it at me.
Me: I will.
Man: $1.25 please. And you go have a great day!
Me: Thanks! You have a great day, too!

(insert merry laughter here.)

I later learned that some people gave their dollars to homeless people. Oops. But I was glad that the dollar gave me back my urge to interact with my fellow city-dwellers. At least until the next Subway trip. NB: That yoga mat is cumbersome and gets knocked into a LOT.

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2 thoughts on “The Power of Kindness

  1. That's what I like about you, Rachel–not only do you go out and buy yourself incredibly unhealthy sugary uncarbonated drinks with yoga mat slung over your shoulder (like me), but you even blog about it.

    Consciously deciding to give up anger=forced positivity which is a thousand times worse than negativity–since it basically IS supressed negativity which bursts out at unexpected moments while self-righteously proclaiming itself to be positivity. Back when I was a peace and love hippie type, I was unbelievably nasty to people. Then, when I decided to drop the forced pretense of being peaceful and loving all the time, I actually became a much nicer person.

    Any idea if these Tarcher Penguin people are gonna be doing any dollar-giving promos in Philly?

    Reply

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