Random Acts of Kindness

The other day, I was walking down the sidewalk minding my own business…

When a gust of wind blew my beloved cheetah-print baseball cap right off my head. It flew into the street, where it landed in the path of oncoming traffic. I stood on the curb, watching the scene play out, ultimately expecting to watch my hat get run over.

Instead, the approaching car rolled to a stop, as did the car behind it, and the car behind that one. A woman darted into the street where she retrieved my cap and handed it to me with a smile.

Honestly, the whole thing felt like a scene from a movie musical. I half expected someone to break into a spirited soft-shoe. Instead, I thanked her profusely and went on with my day, my faith in all things feeling somewhat restored.

In my neighborhood coffee shop, there is a tiny sign perched on the countertop alongside the wooden stir sticks and assorted pitchers of milk. “Remember kindness. It only takes a moment to make someone else’s day a little brighter.”

I often wondered what inspired someone to put it there. Did they witness a particularly sweet moment? Or rather, did they grow tired of watching one too many patrons not hold the door for the person behind them? (Maybe a little of both.) Either way, its point is a good one. You never know what the people around you are secretly grappling with. Sometimes, all it takes is a tiny thoughtful act to turn someone’s entire day (or week or month) around.

To that end, what’s one nice thing someone has done for you recently? It doesn’t have to cost anything or even require planning. Let’s give each other ideas so we can spread some kindness!

P.S. The strangers you see everywhere and a surprise I’m still thinking of two decades later.