There is a strange irony of difficult times like the current moment, when everyone expects everyone else to be tense and short-tempered. The podcasts, newsletters, and smartphone notifications say the world is coming apart at the seams. People expect bad things to happen.
The result is that the slightest moment of friendliness has a magnified effect. A smiling nod, holding the door for someone, a kind word of thanks to a stranger. It's so unexpected that people are warmly surprised by it.
It's easier than ever to be a good person right now. Don't squander the opportunity.