One day, Jerald was walking into a building and noticed that someone was walking right behind him, and so he held the door open for that person.
The person walked through the door and barely looked at Jerald, let alone acknowledge or say anything to him, leaving Jerald just staring at the person’s back and wondering why he got no simple thank you for his effort.
During his lunch break he took a walk to a coffee shop where he held the door open for someone who was leaving just as he got there — the person was overburdened with drinks and would have had a difficult time opening the door.
This person also walked through the door without saying anything to Jerald, which was more than a little upsetting because it was the second person in a row to do this.
A third incident left Jerald with a particularly bad taste in his mouth, as he made his way to the subway that evening.
He opened the gate to the subway area for a person trying to push a large package through.
As she made her way through the gate, she curtly said “Excuse me” to Jerald and kept on walking.
When he got home, he told Matilda about all of the various rude people that he encountered during the day, and she had words of encouragement for him which really put him in a different frame of mind.
She reminded him that he was not opening the door for the benefit of getting a thank you but rather because it was a nice thing to do for a person — if it happened to be the case that a thank you came of it, it certainly could be appreciated but it was not meant to be the norm.
Jerald thought about how he had been perhaps opening doors for all the wrong reasons and decided that from then on out, he would think of the goodness that he was doing for another person and not of the platitudes that might come his way.