I was recently at a conference in Barcelona, Spain (home of Gaudi) when I thought, wouldn't it be great to do a little act of kindness in a far away city? I went through the lively La Rambla street - enjoying the scene and (in the back of my mind) looking for an opportunity of kindness. But I couldn't find anything right away. It was mostly tourists and street vendors.
Finally, I returned to the hotel past midnight when a haggardly old man came up to me and asked if I wanted to buy a rose. He had not sold one all day and was tired and hungry. I had a friend with me. She warned me that this could be simply a 'line' to rope me in. But I knew what to do. I bought 2 roses, gave her one and walked inside the hotel lobby and surprised someone with the second rose.
Ultimately it was really just a couple of Euros but at the end of it, at least 4 people were smiling on their way back to the bed.
Let me preface this short note by admitting that I have never actually used a fragrance candle. So when a company rep at a booth offered one as a marketing scheme, I thought, "why not?" Later, a few of us were standing in line for some food, casually chatting when a lady in front of me noticed this nicely wrapped candle in my hand. She commented on its beauty and immediately I knew what to do.
I offered it to her but I could sense her hesitation. I pressed some more and finally found myself admitting that she'd be doing me a favor if she took it.
Well, before you know it, we were chatting away (the food line was long :), and I spoke about an organization I volunteer for and random acts of kindness. My friends and I chatted for a bit, ate food, finally started walking away from the area when another gentleman caught up with us and surprisingly asked if we were talking about a certain organization! Turns out, for years he's been known about this organization. Today, after hearing our conversation, he just wanted to talk to a real live person about it. We talked for a bit and departed with the promise that we'd meet again at this organization.
Having read many stories on this board on giving up airplane window seats, I was on the lookout for a similar opportunity recently. The international flight back home was going to be long and I wasn't thinking of much except sleep. The row was split in 2-3-2 and the gentleman sitting next to me casually asked if I wouldn't prefer a center aisle seat. His wife had been separated from him. I immediately acquiesced and the couple was together. I admit, I might have let out a little laugh at having finally been able to do this for a stranger (are we really that?) - I hope they didn't take it the wrong way.
But the story was not over for me. Shortly a hostess came over, asked me if I wanted to change seats (the other two passengers next to me were also a couple). For the next 10 hours, I'm in a row all to myself.
So I'm on the hunt again, till I actually give up a window seat without getting anything in return. Will post my progress here.