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Author: Mercedes Brown, Intern

Random Acts of Kindness

Have you ever participated in a random act of kindness? Whether it be buying someone’s food or simply allowing them to skip in front of you, there are many ways you can better the community. Here’s my story about an act of kindness.

Recently, I was in McDonald’s and an older gentleman was in front of me and he was just as happy as can be. He was holding up the line telling old stories to the intrigued cashier. She seemed amazed as he explained that he fought for our country and how the only thing he regretted was the amount of time. Captivated, I inserted myself into the conversation and asked, “What exactly do you mean, sir?” He turned around with a bright smile and said, “I’m going to tell you why”.

He explained that when he fought for this country he took time to get to know everybody in order to keep occupied. When he explained that he wished he had more time with the people, my heart softened. Here is this older man, as happy as can be, who fought for our country and was proud to do so. He’s not complaining at all, but says he wished he had more time. Meanwhile, I’m thinking he did enough because he fought for our freedom.

As it was his turn to pay, it took him a little bit of time to get his money together and, since I was already holding my card, I walked up to the cashier and said “It’s on me today”. She seemed amazed that a young lady, like me, would do such a thing. As she took my payment, I noticed the man was even more amazed than the cashier. He questioned me with, “Are you sure?” and “You don’t have to”. I replied “This is something I want to do because you touched my heart and fought for our country”. He smiled and said, “Thank you”. I didn’t want anything in return.

When It was my turn to order, the cashier said to me, “That was so nice what you did. I don’t see things like that”. I smiled as I gave her my payment, but I forgot one thing… a drink. As I politely asked her to add one to my order, she assured me “No, it’s on the house”.

It only takes a little bit of effort to get involved in the community:

  • Give someone a compliment. Maybe they’re having a bad day and they want to cry. It takes one second to tell them you like their shirt, or their hair looks nice. That might just make their day so much better.
  • Donate clothes or furniture. If you don’t have a need for it, someone else does. Besides, it’s probably taking up space! There are organization like Goodwill and Salvation Army that are happy to re-purpose your donations.
  • Send a care package. Shelters and soldiers are always in need of hygiene items (like shampoo and body wash). Often, people don’t have the means to go purchase supplies, so why not go to the dollar store and spend a few bucks to do that for them? I’m sure they will appreciate the effort.
  • My favorite, most simple, thing to do is to hold a door for someone. It doesn’t take any effort and you’ll often see a cycle of people holding the door for the next person.

A random act of kindness is defined as  “a non-premeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world.” Reading up on it, I learned it’s good for your overall health. So, try it out and see how it effects your mood!