Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Random Act of Kindness

What is a random act of kindness? Well, it's pretty self defining, don't you think?

I was the victim of a random act of kindness on the way into work this morning. No, not a victim, but rather the surprised recipient! I'm in the drive-thru line at Starbucks - waiting, waiting, waiting, and waiting some more - and I finally get to the window to pay. I was informed that the woman in the car in front of me paid for my order as, her words, a random act of kindness.

I was surprised. The Starbucks employee was surprised. A stranger - total, complete - bought my peppermint mocha twist grande and apple fritter. She did not know me. For all she knew, I could be a serial killer. I'm not, btw! She just - randomly - paid for my order.

Now, I know you're wondering whether I paid for the order of the person in line behind me. No. Why? It is not a random act of kindness, though I'm sure it would have been appreciated, to automatically buy the person in line behind you something because something was bought for you. To do so, in my opinion, cheapens the act in itself. I would have been reacting out of instinct and a sense of obligation, and not out randomness. I will perform a random act of kindness at some point . . . today, tomorrow, this week, next week, and maybe quite often at that.

My challenge to any who read this blog: Sometime, today, tomorrow, next week, next month, maybe quite often, perform a random act of kindness. Buy some one's coffee, tea, Big Mac, whatever. Hold the door open for somebody. Say good-morning. Smile. Perform a Random Act of Kindness.

Lastly, I must say, the random act of kindness had a profound effect on me. I'm still slightly dazed. In a world of chaos, a time when the simplest things - a smile, a nod of the head, a thank-you - are pointedly ignored, a stranger bought my coffee. I hate to say it, but it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I'm just saying . . .



Matt D said...

I try to do random acts of kindness from time to time, but people are invariably suspicious.

So instead I just smile a lot.

Though that seems to make them even more nervous.

Scott said...

Thanks for your comment.

People do seem afraid/suspicious of kindness. Go figure.