Random Acts of Kindness:
The other day as I was in line waiting to order a café au lait as my turn approached I turned around and asked the 2 ladies behind them if I could buy them a tea or coffee. The first lady said, ” no she was not ordering anything”, which was odd because she was standing in line. Her friend replied, “What do you want from me?” I replied back “nothing at all I wanted to buy you a coffee or tea.” Both stood there nervously eye balling the other. I had to chuckle and tell them I was simply offering a random act of kindness and would be delighted to buy them a coffee or tea…then with a wink I added no sign up fee required at all. The second girl said “I will take an Earl Grey Tea” I then looked over the other girl and said going once, going twice…and she yelled out ” ” I want the same thing!” I placed our orders they were both shocked and kept looking over at me thanking me over and over again. Our orders came up I got my cafe au lait and then the girls yelled over to me “oh don’t go yet, they walked over and handed me a decadent dessert” I said “oh my, thank you!” and replied they back no “Thank you for reminding us kindness from strangers can happen, we now will both go out today and find some way to demonstrate kindness. Thank you”
My mother and I were on our way to the Liver Walk in San Diego and before we embarked on the two-hour drive I stopped in at my favorite coffee shop. I had a voucher and thought a sweet treat and cafe au lait would be perfect for our driving trip. I only brought the voucher no wallet or purse into the coffee shop, we placed our order and I was 1.50$ short.
I had to hustle to my car to get the change while my mom and the baby waited for me. I ran to car and when I came to the register my Mom was standing with the baby in the back of shop. I went to pay cashier and she said no worries and said that the woman behind me had paid my difference. I walked over to the lady to thank her and give her the $1.50. She said no worries consider it an early Mother’s Day gift!
I thanked her and told her I was a foster parent and this would be my first Mother’s Day. The lady next to us over heard our conversation and before you knew it I was given another gift. I had brought in a $10 bill and I gave that as a tip to our cashier. She was excited and thanked me…off we went to our trip.
A week later, I was in Target and struggling with product I wanted to purchase, holding a newborn and navigating a stroller, a young girl smiled and said “Hi! Let me grab this for you!” She seemed familiar she helped me to Cashier and then I remembered she was the cashier at the Coffee Shop. I told her “I remember you! Thank you so much!” She replied “No, Thank you! I was so inspired by you and the other ladies that now I look for a way to offer a random act of kindness and when I saw you struggling I got excited here was my moment!”
Most of you know I take care of our foster newborn baby on my own and also work which leaves very little time for indulgences. I wanted to get my nails down and saw I thought I would be strategic and plan to get my nails down when the baby took his morning nap. I prepared his diaper bag, gave him a bottle and rocked him to sleep. When I felt sure he floated to dreamland, I placed him in car and off we went to the nail salon.
A lady sitting next to me was ooh and aah at our little peanut. She complimented me on how in shape I was so soon after giving birth. If only I had the endurance to ride that compliment out…I came clean and shared with her I was a foster parent. She like many said, “oh he does not look like a foster baby!” I run into that comment a lot, I always wonder what they imagine a foster baby to look like. After 3 placements I’m still not sure what a foster baby should look like?
I just began the polish portion of my manicure and ding someone’s eyes flew open. I thought to myself no need to panic I have bottle I will feed and rock him to sleep. I fed, he ate, I burped, he slept and I placed back in stroller and then why yes DING someone’s eyes flew open but yet again.
I quickly realized that he had another idea in mind, so I explained to the manicurist that I would need to come back because I could see where this is heading. The lady next me said “oh no, no. You need to polish those nails let me hold him it’s been 15 years since I held a baby this little!” I explained to her I did not want to take time from her day and she said” absolutely not I have been wanting to hold him the whole time it would be an honor for me!”
So she gathered my little peanut and she rocked and cooed him, meanwhile I got my nails polished. I thanked her and she said “No Thank you, for helping these little ones, helping you out is an honor for me.”
It Really Does Matter
Kindness is contagious; once you begin to look for a way to demonstrate a random act of kindness you can’t stop. As you start this upcoming week, I hope you can take a deep pause and look at ways you can add kindness into each of your days.
I hope this blog entry will encourage you to find a sliver of time to show kindness to another person. Your acts may go unrecognized or efforts escape attention of another but never mind focus on a way to give without expectations. The small actions, done one day after another will give way to humbled realization that it really matters.
Why? Because we all matter…