I went into a local cafe for breakfast one quiet morning with a friend of mine. I grabbed a smile card as I left my car, not knowing quite what I was going to do with it. During the meal, I noticed a woman sat by herself, absorbed in a book, at the table next to us. I walked over to the waitress, asked how much the woman's check was, and handed her the money and a smile card with the instructions to give the woman the card, with the paid check, but to make sure not to tell her who had done this. When the woman left, the waitress came to the table and told me that the woman was shocked and very happy, said she really needed someone to do this for her, and couldn't wait to pass it on. But what really touched me was that the waitress said the owner of the cafe had ... Read Full Story >>
At the grocery store yesterday, the mom in front of me realized she had forgotten her wallet out in the car. She had just a few items, and I offered to pay, but she was already holding her baby and walking out the door.
While the cashier was ringing me up, I regretted not being more assertive w/my offer--then suddenly realized I could still simply just do it. The cashier rang up her things with mine, and by the time she got back, they were waiting for her in a cart.
She teared up, I got the best mama/baby hug. But here's the best part: the young cashier who had taken this all in said to me quietly, "I will pay that forward today."
I hadn't really focused on who was around me, and what ripple effects a very small act might have, reminding me of a wonderful quote from Lawrence Kushner, I believe; "You're never going where you're going for the reasons you think you are."
Flowers, I guess, are my thing, along with cards and smiles. Nothing earth-shattering, but hopefully earth-changing, one gift at a time.
After feeling very helpless after the synagogue shootings, I found a card that seemed to sum up what so many were feeling: sorrow, and hope at the outpouring of love and support. When I found out the shooter was protesting HIAS, a Jewish group that helps refugees, I donated a small amount, and left a card at my local synagogue expressing support. I didn't sign it, because I knew so many felt as I did, but might not be able to express their concern, and I wanted the members to look at every person as potentially the one who sent that card--small gesture though it was.
"Do your little bit of good where you are. It's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. " (Archbishop Tutu)