While waiting to pay for my lunch today a woman with her child was holding up the line. She was having trouble paying as her cards didn’t seem to work, so the rest of us were waiting for her to finish her transaction. After several failed attempts she was asked to “step aside” so the rest of us in the line could pay and leave.
There was an elderly brother-sister duo in front of me, the old man super shaky and needing some help from his sis to get stuff done. As he went to pay the cashier barked at the woman who’d held up the line to give him some space. The woman, already super embarrassed that her cards weren’t working, sheepishly moved away while desperately looking through her purse for something, anything she could use to pay. The old man paid for his food, then handed the distraught woman a $5 bill with his shaky hand. As the woman gaped in surprise he nodded his head, held the $5 closer to her until she took it, then he and his sis went on with their day. I then came up to pay, smiling at the elderly duo, and watched the woman go from surprised to realization, then she whispered an embarrassed yet humble “thank you” after them. As soon as I finished she quietly handed the $5 bill to the cashier, paid for their food, then left with her daughter in tow, still in a bit of shock.
I absolutely love bearing witness to events like these. It’s also fantastic when you’re a part of the event.
Years ago I remember being on the bus while holding a bouquet of very-orange flowers. A woman was sitting in the window seat looking very unhappy, but perked up a bit when she saw the flowers. We had a light conversation about things I can’t now remember, and when I reached my stop I gave her some of the flowers. She couldn’t believe I’d given them to her. “Are you sure?” she’d asked, and when I nodded she then beamed and expressed many thanks as I left the bus.
I’ve also had my share of bad days, we all do, and the days that weren’t so bad were always the days where someone, whether a loved one or a stranger, did something unexpectedly kind.
With all the crap that happens to us every day, it’s easy to forget that a bit of generousity can go a long way. It doesn’t necessarily have to be money-based either; be generous with your compliments, your smiles, your help, your thank yous, all the good things in the world. While it might seem like nothing to you, it will make the world of the recipient that much brighter and better.