Monday, November 24, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness

Scarlet has the most interesting posts - her latest one was about random acts of kindness. (You should also check out her post asking about what Jesus means to everyone.)

This is what I wrote in response to her random acts blog:

Do I believe in random acts of kindness? Yes. I've been the recipient and the donor...I suppose it's all karma.

Probably the one that stands out most in my mind is an "act" that happened my freshman year in college. It was the only year I lived in a dorm, and my roommate and I were about to go out - walking it, of course, because we were in NYC and didn't have cars - and as soon as we stepped outside it started pouring. An unexpected cloudburst!

We didn't have umbrellas, and we were going to be late, and SOAKED if we ran the two blocks to a store that might have umbrellas.

We stood there for a few seconds debating what to do, and I kid you not, two people who also lived in the dorm that we had never met were coming back in. And they said, "Hey, do you want our umbrellas?" And they handed them to us and ran off.

I never saw either of them again, and I sometimes wonder if they were angels.

Is that silly?

How about you?

A couple of my own random acts have happened in cafes.

Both times I felt compelled to secretly pay for the check of a person who was by himself; one was a happy-looking young guy in his 20s, writing music, in a cafe in the West Village in New York. The other was an older, lonelier looking man in a cafe in North Beach in San Francisco.


Darth Weasel said...

I always kind of thought the random acts were not all that random but rather came from the person within; acts of kindness, whether directed towards friends, family, or random strangers flow from a person's nature.

The recipients, on the other hand, are more of a mixed bag...but then again, that, I suppose, undercuts my argument to some extent because the recipient might be a really good person or a complete gas bag.

Scarlet said...

My favorite Random Act of Kindness was when I surprised the garbage man with the helium balloons. I never got to see his expression, but I could imagine it. :)

Cafe kindness is awesome. My friends and I have been recipients.

Thanks for commenting on the God/Jesus post. I love how real you are.

JLee said...

It's funny you wrote this because I was watching Oprah either yesterday or the day before when they do some kind of "pay it forward" thing where they were giving money to people for Xmas shopping, etc. and I was just crying like a baby! lol
I love to see (and do) those random gives me faith in humanity.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

vivavavoom said...

I definitely believe in Random Acts of kindness. been the recipient and the bearer man times. Had people pay my parking meter when I knew it had expired...which is always nice. paid for people behind me in the drive thru starbucks a couple times recently. use to pay for the tolls of people behind me in NYC. I never get to see their expressions...thus it makes it random and just leaves me feeling it serves me too i suppose.
(secretly I wish someone would randomly pay my mortgage this!) but the little things that we can all do really add up...just even opening up the door for people or smiling and saying hi...those are not random but make people feel good.

Leslie said...

My guy Max has secretly paid people's dinner checks, too. I melted when I learned that.

Riot Kitty said...

These are sweet stories, everyone...and Darth, I hope no one I surprised was a gas bag, but you never know ;)