Carolann Iadarola blogs at Sassy Townhouse Living. Read more from her there.
The power that lies within a random act of kindness is life changing. Here’s a loving story about one of them.
From time to time, we all hear stories about random acts of kindness or paying it forward. These stories always manage to make us smile and warm our hearts – then the moments pass, and we carry on our days mostly without a second thought of them. We tend to get bogged down in our busy days and nights without giving a thought to how essential and life altering they are, and how to actively make a point of creating an act of kindness ourselves.
Most of us would like to believe that we are generous and loving people and that we wouldn’t give a second thought when it came to helping someone out. After all, there are thousands of stories of people spreading the word about random acts of kindness and, there are loads of websites strictly devoted to sharing stories about them. Yet, it begs the question – when were YOU responsible for creating one of these moments? When was the last time you did something so selfless and completely altruistic that it made you beam with love and light inside?
We hear stories about people leaving generous tips for wait-staff, or leaving spare change taped to vending machines, or someone in line ahead of you at your local Starbucks paying for your java fix and even possibly starting a chain reaction. These stories always leave us feel warm and fuzzy and cause us to think, “Well, next time, I’ll do that too” but have you? If indeed you have, then awesome kudos to you! You are a link in the chain that makes this world a better place – there are enough link breakers that’s for sure!
I’m not going to divulge a name here as the person I’m talking about would prefer I didn’t. Let’s call her Fairy Dust Girl! She is one of those “spreading light and fairy dust” women that doesn’t like taking credit for her amazing acts of love and kindness. Her acts of kindness are bountiful and always thoughtful and filled with spontaneity. Her last one was no different.
She was shopping at her local Target and in line preparing to check out when she heard behind her much excitement as well as the laughter of children. “Oh my gosh” the woman behind her screeched out with emotion. “I must have this book!” she resoundingly said. The three small children giggled with excitement for their mom. “Get it Mom get it!” one cried out. “I will sleep here overnight and read it if I can!” Mom said laughing. Obviously, she was very excited about the prospects of reading this book and made it clearly known to everyone around her. The bunch chatted about how good this book was and how long she waited for its release. As quickly as she picked up the book she placed it back down on the book rack. Her face suddenly grew sad, but only for a few seconds. She then faced her children and quickly changed the course of the conversation while occasionally glancing over at the book with longing.
Fairy Dust Girl knew exactly what she wanted to do and was quickly planning on how to execute this act anonymously. She rushed off the line after checking out, grabbed the book quietly and swiftly and went on another line to buy it. She knew she had to do this before book lady left the store and politely asked the cashier to give the book to her without saying who it came from. “Oh no, so sorry. I’m not allowed to do that” the cashier said with surprise and then asked, “Do you know her”? As if that had to be the criteria for the purchase.
Fairy Dust Girl knew she had to act fast as Book Mom was walking towards the exit. She rushed over to her, handed her the book and said, “I think you forgot something”. Book Mom saw the book through the sheer plastic bag it was in and began to immediately get teary. “Oh my gosh” she cried along with a long string of thank yous. Her children didn’t know what to make of the situation, but they knew it was a good thing. They knew it was an act of kindness and love. Book Mom was clearly in shock over this act of kindness and kept on repeating, “thank you thank you”, along with an “I just can’t believe this.” Fairy Dust Girl’s parting words were, of course, “Enjoy it! Just spreading some love and light,” and she was out of the store in what seemed a magical moment.
It’s moments like those when the universe touches us with all with its infinite wisdom and love. Whatever force, entity, or God you believe doesn’t matter – it’s that moment, that pure act of altruism that connects us all divinely.
The power that lies within a random act of kindness is forever life changing.
I’m sure Fairy Dust Girl left feeling divine, connected, and loved – with on exception.
The next day, she approached me and asked if I thought it was OK that Book Mom knew it was her. She expressed how she wanted this act of kindness to be anonymous and didn’t intend for her to know it was from her – almost as if she felt guilty in some way that her act of kindness wasn’t anonymous.
I looked directly into her eyes and told her that is was OK that she knew it was from her. That giving and taking is a symbiotic relationship – that the relationship of giving and taking is often necessary and good for both parties to rejoice in. I expressed how she should feel wonderful about enjoying that moment just as much as Book Mom did, and there was nothing wrong with spending that loving moment in joy with her! Fairy Dust Girl looked at ease with herself in that moment realizing that it was indeed OK for her to enjoy and share those moments with the people who are lucky enough to be at the receiving end of them.
This loving random act of kindness warmed my heart as they always do, but this one was different because Fairy Dust Girl’s intentions were so pure and loving and the fact that it brought her to actually fret over it made me sad. We all need to rejoice in these moments and know that they are even more powerful and meaningful if we allow ourselves to celebrate in them too!
Think about how positively affected Book Mom’s children were in seeing that act of kindness. I’m sure it’s a moment they will never forget, and bring into their adulthood knowing that there are indeed many good and loving people and that the world can be a beautiful place if we all share in the responsibility of making it so. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in Book Mom’s house that evening. I’d be buzzing around with joy and the knowledge that one person’s actions can and do change everything.