A Christmas Gift
--by Joseph O'Connell, posted Jan 17, 2006
Last week i paid for 1hour for parking near my office in capitol hill, but only used it for 15min before i moved my truck to a free parking spot. as i walked to work there i noticed a parking officer about to ticket a vehicle that hadn't put a parking sticker in their window. i know what's like to get parking tickets, because i get a lot of them. since my sticker had time left on it, i put it on their window to save them a parking ticket. the parking officer warned me that someone might steal the parking sticker and i should put it on the inside of the window. i explained that it wasn't my car, but at least they won't get a ticket. the officer gave a smirk and proceeded to the next car.
A few minutes later a woman with a baby came into my office and asked if i was the one who put the sticker on her car, thanked me and offered to by me coffee. i declined but said if she wanted to do something nice she could put it on another car to save someone else a parking ticket. i felt all warm and tingly inside, because i felt that even i, just 1 little person on this huge earth, could make a complete stranger smile.
This afternoon, on my lunch break, i decided to 'pay it forward' and purchased 5 parking stickers then put them on random cars that hadn't paid for parking. on the stickers i wrote "merry christmas! pass it on. God bless." on my "mission" i intervened between a conversation with a guy trying to talk himself out of a ticket with a parking officer. i told the officer, "i got it" and started to put the sticker on the guy's window. the parking officer said "is this your car?" i said, "nope.just giving this guy a christmas present." the officer then told me not to do that because he was about to give him a christmas present. thinking the officer was being sarcastic about giving the guy a ticket as a present for me underminding his authority i, sarcastically in turn, replied "oh, how very nice of you officer. what did you give him?" the officer said, "i'm going to give him a warning".
As i walked away, before it registered in my brain that the officer really was giving him a present,the officer yelled to me "hey, what i don't see don't hurt!" spread the holiday sprit. do something nice for someone you don't know.
Practice random acts of kindness.