Can I tell you all something that happened to me yesterday?
So, I was out shopping with the kids, and we were traveling by "bike trailer train". For those of you who live locally, you may recall how lovely and sunny it was, yeah? A good day to be out :)
Anyway, while I was buckling the kids in and unlocking the bike, this elderly old man was walking by, but then he stopped and commented on how nice it is to see a family out biking like that, how he admires bicyclists, etc etc.
He was so very nice and we talked a little about his own past of commuting to work via bicycle and whatnot, though now he is far too old to ride himself (he must've been in his late 70's~?). He seemed to have a real nostalgia thing going on, seeing the little ones and our funny wheeled set-up.
After a while, we bid each other goodbye and take care and went our own ways, and then I finally unlocked the bike and maneuvered the tricky train out to join traffic. But suddenly there was the old man again! I guess he'd hung around, or maybe turned around to come back. Either way, he says to me, "Excuse me, but there's just something I wanted you to have." And he pulls out his wallet, so I'm thinking "...Maybe some kind of bicycle-related coupon?" But then he opens his billfold, and pulls out three $20s and says to me, "Here. I want you to have this, because I just really admire what you are doing." @_@
Maybe I looked really destitute? Maybe he assumed that someone who hauls her family around on a bike must be hard-pressed for cash? Maybe that was his way of showing appreciation for something he feels strongly about.
Either I tried to turn him down over and over and asked if I'd heard him right, but he was just so adamant, that I eventually caved in an accepted this extremely random and generous gift. @_@
Though I don't know what I am going to put that $60 toward, I know that it is going to go to good use, and that I am going to be keeping up my bicycling and then some.
After a lot of thanking him and shaking his hand and blinking away the embarrassed/grateful tears, I swore to him that I'd pay it forward, and that is what I intend to do.
Man, random acts of kindness like this renew my faith in humanity so much! The important word here being "act" because a lot of us may think about kind things we could do or muse about things we could do for others, but actually taking the initiative to do the "act" is what makes all the difference.
So, like this fellow, I want to aim to let people know when I think what they are doing is great and to "keep up the good work"! Who knows what a few encouraging words can do for people, right?
Do you ever have a crummy day, but then someone tells you a nice compliment and it just turns your whole day around? Bravo to that someone who took the extra step to speak their kind thoughts aloud!
Compliments and kind words from friends and family are great, of course, but there's something about a complete stranger feeling inspired to tell you something nice they think about you that just feels so darn awesome.
I should start writing down these random encounters with compliment-giving strangers that I have, because they will be nice to refer to on gloomier days. So hereon out, you will be seeing writings of these encounters in the blog.
Have you had any remarkable random acts of kindness happen to you?
Have you taken the time to perform an act of kindness on another?
It could be as simple as picking up someone's newspaper off the sidewalk and placing it right by their door when you are out walking the dog in the early morning. Or paying a compliment to a stranger about how lovely their hair is or how you appreciate their happy gait.
Let's go forth and try to be kinder to our fellow man, shall we? :)
I'm labeling this post as "DIY" because to make the world a better place, you gotta Do It Yourself~!
I know I am going to try, for sure.
Until then, take care everybody and Happy Random Acts of Kindness!