From time to time, I remind myself of the idea or to look for random acts of kindness to perform. And then I forget. To live a life without being so caught up in yourself and those close to you, requires vigilance.
A woman I used to work with told me that once when her parents were dining out, their bill was paid by another couple at the restaurant. They didn't know them and had no idea why the people paid for their meal. I know a woman who was in line at a drive-through coffee shop and when she got to the window to pay, the person ahead of her had paid for her coffee. Since that time, she has done the same twice for the car behind her. How cool is that?
Last week, a young man I know was in line at the grocery store and an elderly man in front of him had trouble with his bank card. He only had three items. He asked the clerk if he could come back tomorrow with cash to pay for them. Of course she wouldn't or couldn't let him. The young man paid the guy's bill. He now feels so good - I think it puts you on a high to do good for others.
I, too, had a grocery store encounter last week. At the self check lane, an elderly man in one of those electric carts with a basket had just finished checking out and appeared to be struggling with placement of a cane and getting the sacks into his basket. So I said, "here, let me help" and began putting the sacks in his basket. To which he snarled and said, "you're not doing it right. Let me do it." I didn't have that same warm, fuzzy feeling my young friend had.
I'm not going to get discouraged. He probably regretted snapping at me later. Or not. But I am going to have to look for more instances to do a good deed or pay it forward. It's easy to surround ourselves with an invisible wall that we can't see through. I'll just have to risk getting snapped at.
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She blogs about prairie life and writing at http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/