A few weeks ago an anonymous Smile Groups friend gifted me £100 to do good deeds with. Since then I have used the money in the U.K. and the U.S. It has helped family and strangers, and generally raised a lot of smiles.
They have warmed my heart, but none so much as the gift I was able to give just an hour ago.
I was in a charity (goodwill) shop looking at the second hand books. It just so happened that the book shelves were next to the toy section.
After a few minutes I became aware of a group of women standing behind me. They were poorly dressed and spoke in what sounded like an eastern European language.
As they looked through the clothes rails a little girl, about three years old, came over to the toy section. Imediately her attention was caught by a toy pram.
What is it about little girls and toy prams? I don't know, but whatever it is its incredibly cute!
She spoke to her mother and, in halting English her mother asked the shop assistant how much it cost.
£3 was the answer. About $5.
The mum looked down at her child, perhaps calculating what she still had to buy and how much money she would have left. Then she simply shook her head.
The child didn't react badly as some might. Being told no was obviously not a new experience for her. But she couldn't keep the disappointment from her face.
I had the grand total of four pounds in my pocket, two £2 coins. A moment later I tapped the mother on the shoulder, pointed to the coins which I had left in the pram and said, "Buy her a dolly too."
I didn't hang about to see the end result. After all, it's not about being thanked. I made my way out of the shop and into the sunshine.
The money my friend gave me was an investment in the happieness of the world. Was there any better way, I wondered, to get so much happiness for so little money than to buy a little girl a toy pram? And a dolly to sit in it.