Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Random Act of Recycling

--by dailybread, posted May 1, 2012

Last Saturday when I was in the car with my children, I realized that I hadn't made time to do out usual recycling, and our water bottles had been piling up (in our car actually!). 

We were going to be driving past the recycling station at the corner grocery store and as we approached it, I took in the long line of people, bags in hand, waiting their turn to cash in for a few bucks and some change.  I thought about the times I've waited in that line, not always just for a little extra cash or purely to help the environment - but sometimes simply because I actually needed to buy milk or bread didn't have the money.

I made a last minute decision and pulled into the parking lot.  I jumped out of the car and grabbed the few bags of plastic bottles that I had in the back of the car.  I went up to the person at the front of the line (he seemed to be the neediest). 

My kids were watching me the whole time wondering what on earth I was doing stopping to recycle when we clearly had to be somewhere and soon :) I hadn't thought about exactly what I would say to the recipient and the beauty of it always startles me, when I realize it really doesn't matter.  The act alone speaks volumes. 

I stood in front of the man while he pushed his cans tiredly into the machine, with my bags hoisted and asked him,

"Would you mind taking mine too?"

He responded with a huge smile and a bit of a laugh......

"I would love to." 

Glad he could help me out like that.  ;-)                        




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Readers Comments

Happysoul wrote: Loved it :) you brought a smile on my face :)
moni wrote: Hi daily bread.

The biggest achievement ever is to reach out of one's insecurities and fear and help those who need it.

N u hve already achieved it!

Trust me, u dont hve to worry about anythn frm now onwards as god is dre wd u ol the time.

God bless u and ur family.

angel wrote: Such simple things, done without a great deal of thought can bless for a moment another person's life. If more people in the world remembered this there would be more peace, and happiness.
revstephmc wrote: I like the fact that you allowed the man the dignity of helping you as well by taking your recycling and doing the work for you. It is truly a blessing when dignity is the gift that transcends both parties. Not just you doing something nice for some one and showing love in action to your kids, but also giving the man pride and help at the same time. Good lesson from a touching story. Thanks!
Grace wrote: It is the random acts of kindness which touch my heart the most. You most certainly changed the mindset of that gentleman, if only for a moment and that would have a lasting effect. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, you have warmed my day.
Karen wrote: Very nice, but please do re-think your use of bottled water. Unless your tap water is really suspect, you're better off not buying expensive imported water bottled in plastic.
dette wrote: That is truly nice:).
jsmc10 wrote: This is fantastic :) great thinking :)
Jami2D wrote: I think you are adorable! Your kids must think your "super mom"! Your proof that not all super heroes wear a cape. Today your my super hero! Thanks for the inspiration. You have set the bar high, this is the first time and the first story i have read on this great site. Thanks!
Aurelia wrote: High Five, Daily Bread. I love it. I especially love that your kids got to see you. It gave you an opportunity to talk to you kids. You may not think they are listening, but they really are. SOme day they will blow you away with the "kind acts" they are inspired to do. :0) I am sure the needy man was grateful.

:) ~Aurelia

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