A while back a friend offered me this advice: "Be good to the people who are good to you." I bristled. Because relationships aren't transactions. And whereas of course it's good to be good to the people who are good to you, it's also equally worthwhile to be good to the people who aren't.
It's just a hell of a lot harder.
And what about being good to people we don't even know? The people we've only just met? The stranger on the street, or on the internet. What about them?
Oh, the internet. I have an unusual track record of making friends on social media. Like, real friends. Maybe you're one of them. And I've made enough real friends this way to say with confidence that even though social media is an increasingly negative, overwhelming space -- goodness grows here.
So here's some goodness to share. I followed Chloe on Twitter a while back. I thought her photo was cool. She appeared thoughtful and interesting and one day a message from her popped up in my DMs. As she says here, "everything that happened after that was gravy."
I'm happy I met Chloe on Twitter (I hope to meet her in real life one day) and I'm happy she wrote this because all of it--her, our interaction, this essay--has reminded me of the unexpected, beautiful things that can happen when you simply begin with being giving.