You Have to Give to Get, Especially When It Comes to Chicken

Image by Xuân Tuấn Anh Đặng from Pixabay

Did you ever play chicken when you were younger? If you’re not familiar, this ‘game’ basically involves you and someone else in vehicles, driving straight at each other to see who will swerve to miss the collision first. The one who does is considered the loser, also referred to as the chicken. Today, I played chicken twice. The only difference was, I wasn’t in a car.

Every day, I walk around my neighborhood to get fresh air, sunshine, and a bit of exercise. Now that we have the coronavirus, there is no passing other walkers on the sidewalk. Instead, someone has to step into the street so you honor the 6-foot social distancing guidelines.

So, when I noticed a man walking toward me, I instantly moved to the street. We waved, nodded, and both went on our way. A few minutes later, I saw a woman approaching and did the same. While I don’t mind taking the necessary actions to protect my health, I did wonder why I was always the one who had to move. Why was it always me who shouldered this responsibility?

I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but I felt a little put out. I knew I was acting like such a brat. Did it really matter who stepped out of the way? No. Was I that much of an ass that I did’t feel it should be me? It would appear so.

Within a few minutes, I noticed the same man approaching, this time at a different place in my route. Except this time, when I went to move to the street, he did as well. I smiled to myself.

A few blocks later, I came across the woman I had met before as well. She too stepped into the street before I could. I smiled again. I was so quick to judge both of these people, yet, our second interactions told me that my first impression of each was dead wrong. They weren’t selfish people, I simply beat them to the punch.

I was also reminded that, if you give a little, you will get in return. Maybe not all of the time, but I’d say more often than not. Not that you should only give with the intention to receive, but it’s nice to know that if you extend a little kindness, others will often give that same kindness back. And I don’t know about you but, with all of the craziness going on in this world, I will take all of the kindness I can get!

Today also made me realize that, even if I had not run across these two walkers again, they likely would have stepped into the street for the next person they crossed paths with. So, sometimes it isn’t you that receives, but someone else.

I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of world I want to live in. One where we all appreciate the kindnesses given to us so much that we want to pass them on to others as well. I’ll be a chicken in that world any day. Cluck, cluck, cluck.

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