Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Random Acts of Christmas Kindness - Catch-Up Edition
Phew! Merry Christmas, everyone! We had a good day of RACK catch-up the other day, but then the busy-ness of Christmas hit and left no time for blogging. I have an unpleasant call to make to the USPS, so I'll be brief...
My oldest daughter (12) and I went to get our haircuts on Monday. I told the owner that I wanted to add on to my check for the next person who got a regular haircut. She rang me up, I paid, and then she pulled me into the back room. She said, "This could not have come at a more perfect time! The woman who just walked in the door called me this morning to tell me her husband had been laid off for awhile, and she really needed her hair cut, but she just didn't have the money right now. So that will go straight to her. Thank you so much!" She teared up, I teared up and got goosebumps. Often, I can't choose who these RACKs will go to, nor do I really want to choose who, but it's really nice to know that this one went to someone who would really appreciate it!
Then we headed to Walmart, which is right next to the laundromat. I still had a partial roll of quarters in my purse, so I thought I would go into the laundromat and put 50 cents on some dryers. I took $5 in and planned to hit 10 different dryers. Apparently I haven't been in a laundromat in a really long time. The first machine I came to cost $6.50. The next one cost $4.50. Finally, in the back, I found a row of small dryers that was "only" $2.50. I was just going to leave the quarters on top of 2 machines and leave, but there was a man bent over trying to get all his clothes into 2 dryers, so I figured, "What the heck - I'll just hand them directly to him." I walked over to him and held out the quarters just as he stood up and turned toward me. And it was someone I knew! Rats! I like being anonymous about these things, but I could hardly withdraw my offer. He didn't let on that he recognized me, so maybe he didn't, but he is from a pretty wealthy family, so I am pretty sure he didn't need the $5. But! Maybe he needed the kindness. Maybe he had had a bad morning and just needed a little cheer. Acts of kindness don't always have to be financial. Sometimes people just need to experience some niceness.
Lastly, my daughter dumped the last of the quarters into the claw machines in the Walmart lobby. Nothing special there, but maybe someone was able to score a last-minute stocking stuffer :)
So what have I learned? Well, I've learned that even though the desire and the money are there, sometimes the opportunity isn't. Sometimes it is inconvenient to be kind (making extra stops on the way home to do something, for example). But it is ALWAYS important to find a way to be nice to people when we get the chance. Heading into the new year, I won't be continuing this project on a daily basis, but I have picked up the mentality of watching for opportunities to do nice things. That may just mean holding the door for someone, or taking someone's cart back to the store from the parking lot. It doesn't have to be anything monumental. Although something that isn't monumental to me might be HUGE to someone who needed that smile, or who had been having a bad day, or whose husband had been laid off and they were wondering how they were going to be able to afford their bread and milk. Just remember, things that we take for granted may be cherished by other people. We need to try to find ways to share a little cheer with others all year long.