Random Acts of Kindness Month
We’ve all been the beneficiary of random acts of kindness before, whether we knew it at the time or not. And if you’ve ever engaged in doing something nice for someone just because (even if you don’t know them!) you know how gratifying it can be.
I remember when I was a young, single mother. I was in college, living at home with my parents, and trying to finish college on a tight budget. A network of my mother’s friends pooled together baby clothes and Velcro cloth diapers- we didn’t want for anything for the first year, and I was very grateful.
But one neighbor woman stopped by unexpectedly one afternoon, with a huge smile and a bag full of brand new baby clothes from The Disney Store. “I just had to see this little fella,” she cooed, and held the baby for an hour. And I remember being overwhelmed at the feeling of somebody outside my family CELEBRATING with me- beyond the very kind act of helping with necessities, she’d gone out of her way to buy my baby something special and welcome him into the world. And I always remember how much that mattered to me.
Around the same time, I was trying to buy a car. It was an arduous process, since I had no money and a truck that stalled in anything above third gear.
I would walk into car dealerships with my eleven day old baby in tow and announce, “I’d like to buy a four door automatic sedan, please. Power locks and running order would be great.”
And they’d say, “What sort of a downpayment do you have?” and I’d reply, “Well, I have this truck to trade.” (Which had 120,000 miles on it and had been rolled twice.)
“Hmmmmmm,” they’d reply. “And what sort of monthly payments?”
“That’s the thing,” (and I had to buck myself up a bit for this part every time.)
“I’m a student and a new mom, so I’m afraid monthly payments aren’t an option at this time. The truck is all I have to offer.”
At this juncture, usually much laughter ensued, and then a, “But seriously, Kid.” And then I’d leave, and try a different dealership.
But on the eighth try on the second day, a man I will never forget said, “I think I have just the thing.”
Hardly daring to believe him, I followed him out onto the lot, baby carrier swinging from my arm.
And he led me to a gray four-door automatic with power locks, that carried my son and I through graduation and into my married life.
And anytime someone behind me in line at the grocery store forgot their wallet and needs to be covered, or I give the tollkeeper a $20 for the folks behind me in line, that’s who I think of.