Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Random acts of kindness

Random act of nature's kindness / our first Pristine rose of spring.

Lately, my days have been filled with random acts of kindness. The week leading into Easter was very rewarding for me.

Let me share a few examples of these "random acts of kindness" with you:

1. While I was walking on a pathway leading to the entrance of our Sunday farmers' market in Oakland, I helped retrieve an errant tennis ball for an exasperated father whose young toddler had thrown it past him. I received a polite "thank you" from the relieved father for retrieving the tennis ball as I tossed it back to him.

2. A few minutes later, while picking out navel oranges at the farmers' market, an elderly woman also shopping in the same stall accidentally dropped a navel orange at my feet.  The look on her face exuded embarrassment. No worries, I gladly picked up the fallen navel orange, wiped it off, and handed it back to her.  I received another polite "thank you" for my simple act of courtesy.

3. After offering some long-distance academic counseling for a very nice Facebook friend of mine, who was seeking advice and direction for selecting a media studies project, I received a very heartfelt "thank you" via e-mail for my time and help. Plus, there was a very rewarding postscript attached to the e-mail, too: "I'm blessed to have such a good friend."

4. As I pulled out of a parking space at our downtown fitness center, I honked my car horn at a nearby vehicle to warn its driver of imminent danger.  You see, unbeknown to the driver, she was about to back her sleek black SUV over her designer-brand purse and very expensive-looking brief case, which she had apparently forgotten about while putting something into the vehicle's trunk (car boot for anyone in Great Britain reading this post).  I stopped my car, got out, and managed to attract the driver's attention just in the nick of time.  I pointed to her purse and brief case, which were mere inches from being run over.

The driver got out of her SUV and glanced at what had almost happened.  Then, she approached me. "Thank you so much," she said, looking obviously tired and exhausted, but nonetheless wanting to express her gratitude.  "I am a doctor and have just finished a very long day.  You don't know how much this means to me. Thank you."

5. After sending an e-mail to a long-time friend to offer some positive encouragement and help console them through some difficult personal matters, I received a simple response that meant a lot to me: "Thank you for being my friend."

Added up, it was a very rewarding week for me.

A postscript: Monday night, I returned home from our fitness center only to discover I didn't have my iPod in my possession, my most trusted music companion.  Obviously, I felt panicked. I hoped ~ prayed ~ that somebody, anybody, had found my iPod which I had inadvertently left at the stationary bike workout station I rode at.  Hurriedly, I drove back to the fitness center and moments later, much to my relief, I was the recipient of a random act of kindness for which I am most appreciative.

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