Stories of Kindness from Around the World

"Spare Change" of Kindness

--by twocents, posted Dec 19, 2006

I had a meeting to go to and pulled up to a metered parking spot in a busy commercial area.  I grabbed a handful of change to feed the meter and discovered that I had an hour and eight minutes on my meter.  So with a smile on my face, I proceeded to walk down the street towards the building where I had my meeting. 

Every other parking spot was occupied because of the holiday bustle, and the first meter I passed had expired, though a car was still sitting there. I instantly realized that it would be such a downer for a holiday shopper to get get a ticket in the midst of shopping for loved ones, so I paid forward my meter blessing by dropping a few coins into that meter.  Walking further, I found another car with an expired meter and drop some coins there as well.  All in all, there were five cars between mine and my destination that got some change paid forward.

Sure enough, when I got out of my meeting and was walking down the street back towards my car, I saw the meter cop down the street ahead of my car.  She had already passed all the cars whose meters I had fed, and nobody had gotten a ticket.  They would now have at least another half  hour of safety before she made the rounds again.

It made me think of how kindness works: just the "spare change" of your kindness can sometimes save people from having to pay "big fines" that are headed their way.  Or said another way, sometime a little bit of easy kindness  on your part is enough to wipe away another person' great suffering.

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Readers Comments

mrtwinker wrote: Never fun to get a ticket during the holidays. Glad that you managed to help a few lucky strangers!
wonderlink wrote: Thanks for the reminder of how easy it can be to make a big difference for someone.
Ginny wrote: What a great idea. The next time that I go out I will grab a few exta coins each time that I see a car with its meater out of time I will put a few coins. Will lets hope that I can do it soon.
Asma Raheem wrote: There are better ways to show kindness, according to me. Carelessness has to pay a price.
Dolly wrote: I love the story of the parking meters. Let's hope you never experience the death of a loved one , a baby screaming in your arms while you're searching for a few coins and a toddler pulling on your coat . It's called stress !
Everyone has problems, let's help each other whenever we can.
msdifranco wrote: I did a similar thing last week while out of town where everywhere you park there are meters. Imagine my suprise when each time my husband and I parked at a meter together, it always seemed to have time left on it. Maybe you were the one paying the meter! All it takes is a few dimes and a few seconds of out lives to help make someone elses day sometimes.

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