Buck Conditioning

Say I have a kind thought about you.

Any kind thought: Your fried chicken is heaven. I loved what you said about humility. I’m still thinking about how fun it was to see the Celtics with you last month. The room is better when you’re in it.

That thought doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to you. My job is to make sure I give it to you.

We’re not conditioned to do that. We’re conditioned to be restrained and tame. We don’t want to be seen as effusive and gushing; that’s bordering on wild, out of control - what will people think of us? So in the name of reputation and pride, we often keep our kind thoughts to ourselves.

It’s like carrying a present around for someone and never, never giving it to them.

To that, I say: Buck conditioning. If I think something kind about you, you are the rightful owner of that thought.

And what a world it could be if we all only knew the kindnesses people felt for us.

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