November 27, 2013 — I was at a coffee shop this morning when I heard the man next to me say “Use it to pay for the next person who walks in and tell them Happy Turkey Day from anonymous!” I looked over and saw extra cash sitting on the counter. I picked a chair with a good view of the door while I waited for my drinks, excited to see the reaction of the next customer, but unfortunately they didn’t arrive before my drinks were ready.
Yesterday, my mom and sister had a similar experience when they went through a drive-thru. My sister let another driver pull ahead of her in the line and when she reached in her wallet to pay, the employee said, “the lady in the car ahead of you paid for your breakfast.” As they drove off, they passed her on the road and honked, exchanging waves and smiles. My other sister sent me the following story of a chain of 55 cars treating strangers to free food/drinks.
It feels good to start the day this way. Doesn’t this get you excited to plan an act of random kindness…maybe at the next drive-thru or coffee shop stop? Or maybe it will be as simple as letting someone ahead of you in line. While waiting in line for funnel cake at a baseball stadium several years ago, I noticed a man in uniform behind me. “Soldiers first”, I told him and let him go ahead of me. He then surprised me by buying my funnel cake! I guess it’s not a random act of kindness if I tell everyone about it on the Internet, but it is a feeling you never forget.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily routine, and it can be especially frustrating facing the crowds of people out shopping this time of year, but taking the time to be thoughtful brings joy that simply can’t be measured. And, it’s good for your health! Writer Bethany Kandel posted on Livestrong’s Fitness Blog about the value kindness plays in our health: “Scientific studies demonstrate the positive effects of kindness on health, including an increase in energy and longevity, stress and pain reduction, a healthier cardiovascular system, plus inner peace and overall happiness. So in other words, when you do something kind for someone, you and everyone around you reap the rewards.”
Wishing everyone a joyous Thanksgiving and holiday season! May good health, family, friends and kindness fill your hearts and warm your homes.