Image: Michael Leunig

It’s a tough world we live in. You can’t turn on the TV or listen to the radio or surf the internet without hearing something bad that has befallen someone. Pettiness, greed, and just plain “mean” are no longer the exceptions–they are the rule. It’s becoming more and more difficult to teach the boys about kindness and generosity. They don’t live in a bubble–they are exposed to the world and the people in it everyday. Today, however, Zachary was shown firsthand how nice even the simplest gesture can be.

Today is the ABC’s of Kindergarten at Zachary’s school, FLEC, ((Forest Lake Education Center))  which means he is home with me today. It’s always ((okay, almost always 😉 ))  a pleasure hanging out with The Goose and we spent a nice morning in the office. I was getting some work done and Zachary was playing games on Chris’ computer. For lunch we went to our favorite hole-in-the-wall diner, Robinson’s.

We were enjoying a very nice lunch–Zachary is a good dining companion. 🙂 He’s polite, funny, smart, and sweet. We talked. He colored in his coloring book. I took the opportunity to do some quick reading. Just as we were finishing up, the owner ((a very nice little Asian lady))  came over and picked up our bill. In her limited English she informed me that the woman who had been sitting in the booth behind us had picked up our tab.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

I don’t know why this nice woman paid our bill. Maybe it had something to do with how sweet and polite Zachary was to our server and the lady who busses the table. Maybe it had something to with the great conversation we were having. Maybe it had nothing at all to do with us. Unfortunately I will probably never know exactly why she decided to turn our simple lunch into a wonderful, random act of kindness. While I had glanced at her once and smiled at her when she met my eye, I can’t say that I remember anything about her except she was wearing scrubs. Even if I see her in Robinson’s again ((it appears we are both regulars there))  I don’t know that I will recognize her.

I hope that the small and unnecessary kindness she paid to me and Zachary is returned to her in a nice and unexpected way, and I hope that our server and the owner will remember to thank her for me, the next time they see her.


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3 Comments on “The random kindness of strangers”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It is truly an awesome feeling to have! This is such a lost art, as I agree, how do you teach your children when all around you is negative. The wonderful lady that had shown you the RAK will receive it back 10 times fold, i honestly believe that. Again, this was a wonderful post and I will share it with others so they too can see, it doesnt take much and doesnt have to be for any particular reason. I hope you have a wonderful day!

  2. OMG this is SO amazing! What a fabulous story to read! I remember reading a story once about a drive through situation where the 1st car had paid for the 2nd who turned and paid for the 3rd and so on lol

    On another note .. sometimes a SMILE can be more of what someone needs.. maybe that smile at her brightened her day and in turn made her heart warm enough to want to return the favor.. I remember 1 day I was driving, my neighbor following behind, I had a big smile on my face .. as I was crossing in front of Walmart I stopped to let an elderly lady pass and she looked at me, smiled and waved.. i waved back and this continued with 7 people before i got passed the Walmart lol it was like the smile and wave was contagious! Which made me smile even bigger – my neighbor asked if I knew all of the people and I said Nope just friendly people i guess!

  3. That is awesome! I used to work at a fastfood restaurant and would have people in the drive through pay for the orders behind them. I always thought that was the nicest thing! I never knew why the person chose to pay for that total stranger but it always put a smile on the persons face! Thanks for sharing!

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