This was not only a movie back in 2000, starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment, but it is also a concept that seems to have gathered steam lately. I have heard stories over the past few weeks of people randomly going out and doing things for complete strangers. One story I heard even had someone going in to Wal-mart over the holidays and paying off someone’s layaway that was obviously for kids (it was nothing but toys).
On New Year’s Day my husband and I were lucky enough to be on the receiving end of someone’s random act of generosity, and it made me smile for days. First thing last Tuesday morning we decided to walk to our local Starbucks to get coffee since we have been really good about making coffee at home lately instead of buying it every day. We do like to treat ourselves every now and then. We got up to the counter, ordered our drinks and were about to pay when the barista informs us that a woman at the drive-thru just paid for one of our drinks! Granted, it wasn’t someone paying off one of my credit cards or anything grand like that, but even the smallest act of kindness can really make someone’s day.
That said, I have been wracking my brains for the past few weeks trying to think of something nice and unexpected that I can do for someone else. My brain keeps getting caught up on buying something for someone, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be something monetary. I suppose I did do something nice for someone on the bus last week during my commute… there was a girl who was obviously distressed and confused as our bus was barreling down the carpool lane of I-5. She kept looking out the windshield at the exit signs as we drove by, and she kept pulling on the “Stop Request” cord. Having ridden this particular bus several times before, I had a feeling that I knew the source of her confusion: during non-peak hours, the bus makes a couple of extra stops off of the freeway and it was one of those stops she was hoping to get off at.
I happened to have a bus book in my hand that I had picked up as I got on the bus because there are some upcoming service changes that I wanted to take a look at. Noticing her confusion and realizing what the source of her confusion most likely was, I decided to ask her which stop she was hoping to get off at. She told me and I let her know that the bus we were on only stops there during non-peak times. She was obviously upset by this, so I started looking through the bus book that I had grabbed for alternate ways for her to get to the stop she needed. As we were discussing this, another passenger chimed in and offered his expertise as he knew the route better than I, as I only take this particular bus a couple of times a month. In the end, we helped her figure out exactly what she needed to do to get to where she was going and I gave her the bus book that I had grabbed, as I didn’t really need to hang on to it.
I still feel like I should do more though, but I guess that’s just me always wanting to go above and beyond to help people. As I said though, it doesn’t always have to be monetary, but if someone does something nice for you, you should pay it forward to someone else. Why? Because it just makes the world a little bit of a nicer place to live in!
Have you been on the receiving end of someone’s random act of kindness? Have you done a random act of kindness for someone else? I’d love to hear about it! Let’s all be kind to each other, it makes life that much more pleasant.
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