Stories of Kindness from Around the World

The Empty Seat Next to Mine


--by jacqueline, posted Dec 6, 2007

I've been holding on to a good bunch of Smile Cards for some time now and decided it was about time I started using them more often!  Any opportunity I get, no matter how big or small I am going to do an act of kindness and encourage the pay-it-forward idea.

The other day I attended a large business event.  I was seated in a row of seats where all chairs were taken except for one chair next to me.  It was the only good viewing spot left in the room.  There were other chairs available, but they were a distance away and to the side of the room. 

A few minutes later, two young men stood near me gazing the auditorium for the best seats they could find.  "How many seats do you need?" I inquired.  "Two," one of them replied.  I flashed back to my Smile Card resolution and immediately got up.  "Here, you can my seat and the one next to mine.  I'll go find another single seat."

Little bit surprised-yet-delighted, they insisted I stay there and that they didn't expect me to move just for them.  I said, "Consider it a random act of kindness.  Here, take this card and pay-it-forward.  Have a great day!". 

I walked off feeling great.  The two young men read the Smile Card with great big smiles on their faces and thanked me from across the room.  Just seeing the joy on their faces filled my heart with incredible love.

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Readers Comments

thaata wrote: Nice of you to offer your seat and made them immensely happy. That happiness travels round and round and will come to you to you too. Thanks, you have a kind heart.
Charlie48 wrote: What a great idea and so easy to do. Thanks for the inspiration
JackieHall wrote: That is an inspiring story Jacqueline. Well done. It made me smile too. To BigRed Clown, I too had been wondering about the anonymous bit, as I know some of the things you want to do can't be anonymous, but are still very kind. so thank you JZ, because I hadn't thought of it from the perspective of an anonymous person as opposed to an anonymous act. Great perspective. Now I feel better about using my cards..........if I can remember to at the time. I remember the acts, but forget the cards, still learning.
speedi wrote: What a wonderful idea...one I never wouldhave thought of,,but now it is added in my thinking cap..Thanks so much
lhatton wrote: Thanks for the great idea!!!!!!
tsholofelo wrote: wow tooooooooo nyce thats incredible wow
sandy wrote: Its nice to do random acts of kindness everywhere you go. I always have a few smile cards with me to give to others and its fun to see their faces when they read the cards.
keshavarao wrote: simple great act of kindness, and simple great experience, thankyou for sharing
Ebbtide wrote: That is an awesome act. :). I've been trying to dislodge a few of my lingering Smiley cards as well. ;). Thank you, for being willing to make both of their days a bit better.
gwboocat wrote: Wow! That's awesome! Keep up the generosity.

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