Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Learning the Power of Kindness Through a Quarter

--by seemeister, posted Oct 31, 2008

I was at a basement computer in my college dormitory, when this girl comes up to me and says, "Do you have a quarter? I'm one short of putting my laundry in the dryer."

I stopped to think about it for a few seconds and took a few moments to consider whether I'd be willing to give a quarter away.  I found myself judging her, thinking about why she didn't bring 4 quarters down from her room with her,as if she'd have planned to be one short so she could ask someone else for it.  Obviously that was not the case, but there I went again, judging the intent of others the way I judge myself when I do wrong things like stealing money, or lying.

I responded, "Yeah, I think I have one," though fully aware that I had 3 since I just used two dollars to buy a drink worth 1.25 from the vending machine.  "Here you go," I said with a smile.  "Thanks!" she responded, mentioning that she'd have clean underwear to wear the next morning.  "It's fine, this happens to me all the time!" I said, wanting to feel like the good samaritan she obviously thought I am.

A few moments later she returned and put a dollar bill next to where I was sitting.  "I found this in the laundry room," she said.  "Why are you giving this to me?" I asked, surprised.  "Oh, because you were being a good samaritan to me, so I'm just returning the favor."

It's just a dollar, but I felt moved.  More so because I hadn't given that quarter with such nice thoughts, the way she gave that dollar to me.  I felt like it was the first time I ever received something greater in return for something so small that I had given.   I saw the power of kindness and generosity in a new way.

It was so worth giving that quarter away I thought!  Giving and getting don't usually happen hand-in-hand, but when it does, like it did this time, it makes one think about why generosity is so powerful in the first place.

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Readers Comments

mil1lion wrote: Thats an awesome story! I've been in that boat myself, where i've got the money for a machine but it wont take one of the coins. Its funny that some people wont even swap a coin like you are going to fleece them for it!

Tigerlily wrote: As we sow, so shall we reap. Blessings to both of you. What a sweet story.
makesomeonesmile wrote: What a nice story. There is always a lesson if we look. You found yours!
wayfarer wrote: Yeehaa! That, my friend, is what it's all about!
sabrina wrote: Ur story might inspire many.what goes around comes around!keep it up.cheers

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