Just Because I Can - How a Random Act of Kindness Ripples to Touch Many Lives
I had worked for a couple of weeks on this month’s column and although I was passionate about its contents, it just was not ready. Despite my passion on the topic, it just was not coming together in the way I wanted. Frustrated as my deadline loomed closer, I closed my laptop and headed for the store with my son Micah to buy some rice cakes (yeah, yummy!).
As usual, my ‘one-item’ shopping trip became a sixty-dollar shopping spree as I cruised the organic aisles for millet noodles, green tea, eggplant, and other things. (Deep down, I knew this would happen because I’d grabbed a cart on going in. I mean, who needs a whole cart for a pack of rice cakes?) My son did not utter a word as we began, although he knew there were major diet foods to buy since I was frustrated.
As I looked over the noodles in the organic section, Micah helped me read ingredients to watch for refined sugars, gluten and bleached process flour. I noticed a young woman doing the same thing as we met on several of the ‘healthy’ aisles. As we went to check out, I chose the self-checkout and she joined a regular line. I forgot about her as I argued with the scanner as it reluctantly scanned each item. As Micah finished bagging the items and I finished paying, we once again had the chance to see the young woman as we both headed for the door at the same time. What happened next is why I sit here typing as fast as I can to share with you this amazing yet simply story.
Just as we reached the door, a young man called to woman and tried to hand her a receipt and a box of organic spaghetti. She was reluctant and shook her head no, telling him, “I didn’t buy that because I was short of money.”
The young man insisted she take it, but once again she said, “No, I didn’t purchase this.”
The young man simply said, “I know. I did and I want you to have it.”
At this, the woman blushed, not from embarrassment, but from happiness that a stranger had done such a kind thing.
My 15-year-old son waited until we were outside the door, out of earshot, and asked, “Did you see that?”
I replied, “Tell me what you saw.” After he’d finished, I told him, “Yes, I saw it, too. That selfless act not only uplifted the spirits of the young woman, but also of you and I, and probably the cashier, as well.”
Little did this young man know how many people he touched with his two-dollar purchase or the beautiful karma he’d gathered for himself. The beauty of it was he did not do it for praise, but because he wanted this woman to have what she’d set her heart on.
On the drive home, I used my cell phone to share the story with a friend. He asked, “Did the woman have children?” When I answered no, he asked, “Was she elderly?” and once again, I replied no.
After I pulled into the driveway and we were removing the groceries from the car, a neighbor stopped by to chat with me. I relayed the story to him, as well. He thought it was wonderful and yet he said, “I bet she was young and built.” I laughed and I said, “No, she was around thirty and overweight.”
His second question was, “Well, did she have children with her?” I told him no, that she actually was alone. We chatted about how the world needs such random selfless acts of kindness and I then went into my home.
It did not take a lot of contemplation before I flipped open my laptop and started typing this article. My original topic will keep for another month so we can discuss this wonderful exchange between two strangers. The point of this article is that even my sweet, warm-hearted friends found it hard to believe that this random act of selfless kindness was actually random and selfless. They each asked questions they thought would ferret out the young man’s real motives – a heart-wrenching situation or a pick-up line. Was she elderly, have children to feed, or was young and sexy. I suppose many find it inconceivable that a young man would purchase a box of spaghetti for a 30-year-old, overweight, childless woman when she ran out of money. Who knows, maybe she had a bunch of money and had just forgotten her debit and credit cards. But at this point into the story who cares, the act of kindness was AWESOME in and of itself.
This is what our world needs today – positive energy and balance to get this earth and her occupants back on track. We need love, morals, and conscious and random acts of kindness to chase away our storms and warm the hearts of many of the cold, selfish entities who inhabit our planet. Maybe I sound like a Pollyanna, a do-gooder or one of those hippies from the sixties, yet I would rather be that than someone who expects everything to be centered on me.
As the cold weather starts giving way to the warm spring, and the March flowers begin to bloom, remember to practice random, selfless acts of kindness to all around you and be prepared to receive the same. Make sure you bloom, too, and your heart reaches out to everyone around you. As I often say, it’s easy to give to others if there’s a camera shoved in your face or there are others around to witness it. True kindness and generosity show up in the same way integrity does – you do right even when you are the only one who knows it. Isn’t this an awesome concept?
As I close on this little Lesson on Love and Life, I reach out to everyone and try to share a big hug. This world can become a better place one hug, one dime, one chore and one box of spaghetti at a time.
Rhiannon Waits is a syndicated columnist with her column published in 14 different countries and translated into 4 different languages. You can purchase "Little Lessons on Love And Life" at Amazon.com, book private sessions, schedule speaking engagements, or attend book signings by calling 850-941-4190. You can also visit her web site at RhiannonWaits.com. Rhia lives in Pensacola Florida with her life partner, Steve, and her children. Rhiannon Waits is a renowned Psychic/Medium.