One of the things I love about Elmhurst and living on campus is how polite everyone is. It’s like a little slice of Canada here, that’s how polite people are.
The most common random act of kindness everyone performs here on campus is opening doors for the people behind them, exiting a building they are entering or vice versa. If there is someone in front of you walking into the same building, there is a 90% chance they will open the door for you, or at the very least push the door open a little bit more for you as they walk through it.
And as I’ve noticed this (and as it’s become second nature to me), I decided to have a little fun with it. One of my favorite past times here on campus is to see how many times a day I can get someone to do, what I like to call, The Jog of Gratitude.
The Jog of Gratitude is when you open the door for someone, but they are far enough away from you where you are waiting with the door open and they have to pick up the pace a little bit so you aren’t left waiting too long. We have all been subjected to this, we have all been The Jogger at least once every few days. There’s a certain amount of schadenfreude that comes with being the one who is holding the door, waiting for The Jogger.
Prompted half by amusement, half by curiosity, I began my friendly experiment. So nearly every day when I’m about to enter a building, I try to get just enough in front of someone to open the door for them. Sometimes they catch up to me just enough, but more often than not, I can get them to do The Jog. On any given day, I can get about six or seven Joggers. My record is sixteen (granted, I was running around campus quite a bit that day).
Once in a while I’m thwarted and become The Jogger myself. And in those moments as I jog to the door, I smile. I smile because of the kindness in that polite act of being willing to wait a few extra seconds for someone else instead of letting the door close and moving on.