Three things in life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.

Benevolence, magnanimity, generosity, hospitality, courtesy, friendliness, philanthropy, altruism, grace, patience, indulgence, tolerance, leniency, understanding, sympathy, warm-heartedness, love, affection, helpfulness, thoughtfulness, gentleness… Kindness made manifest.

Service begins where expectations end. Expectations, though, may be misguided, corrupted, by imagined entitlements. One is entitled only to that which one has personally cultivated, independently advocated, distinctively earned through courageous, unfaltering effort. No spouse, or child, or relative, or organisation, or affiliation, or government, or state owes you anything. Gratitude is all you owe, having a due sense of benefit received.

Mean, unpleasant, cruel, disagreeable, and bad-tempered are the opposite of nice. These are objectionable, intolerable, unacceptable, no matter the context. Should these ever be encountered in the fulfilment of service, as they often are, service, then, is terminated, lest the abuser further misinterpret the nature of that relationship. If self-righteous offence ensues, again, as it often does, so be it. Just because one is offended, does not mean that one is right, nor does it mean that you are wrong.

Though the customer is not always right, clearly, yet to the extent that she or he remains human – tolerant, compassionate, nice – amelioration is possible, service is practicable, satisfaction is negotiable.

The greatest of virtues is magnanimity, freely bestowed. The least of virtues is loyalty, displayed only in fear or in betrayal. Between the truth and hypocrisy, there is tolerance. There are only two types of people in the world, those who need help, and those who help. In an ideal world, those who need help, get it; and those who can help, do. Our world is far from ideal. All the more important, then, to be kind. Not turn the other cheek to suffer more abuse, kind, but treat everyone fairly, humanely, compassionately, in the first place, kind.