It’s easy to forget that there is still kindness in the world and that people really do care. It’s even easier to forget that everything we do, albeit good or bad, comes back around to land squarely at our feet — Typically when we least expect it. Today, I was humbly reminded of this fact.
This morning, I took my little girl to a kids story time at our public library. We woke up early, both looking forward to going on this adventure, together. When you are holed up in your home every day, a simple outing can be pretty exciting to say the least.
Neither of us knew what to expect, especially my daughter. The hours leading up to it, she was building her hopes up as her imagination was turning out all of the many fun things that she would likely get to do. We were one of the first ones there and as the room started to steadily fill with kids and their moms, and become incresingly more noisy, I could clearly see the all too familiar look of anxiety written across my little one’s face.
I watched as my daughter’s eyes darted all across the room, her head turning back and forth, trying to gage who was in the room around her. Then she nervously turned to me and said, “I want to go make some friends,” got up from her chair and one-by-one introduced herself to all of the kids there. Within minutes she was hamming it up with everyone, invited to join both a t-ball and a soccer team, and having the time of her life. I thought to myself how I wished it were this easy, as an adult, to meet kind people the way that children do.
As adults we have a lifetime of not so great moments with both making and keeping friendships that tend to color our experience when meeting new people — Trust issues that keep us from even wanting to talk to someone whom we’ve never met and pretty soon we forget that there are far more kind people in this world than our narrow parameters of personal experience lends us to believe.
When storytime had completed and it was time to leave, my daughter looked so sad that she had to say goodbye to all of the new friends she had just made. I promised her that we would come back next week, which thankfully aided in my getting her out of the building and back into the car.
On the way home, we stopped at a corner store to get a snack. She also found what she thought was a cool new hotwheels car that she didn’t already have, and wanted. Considering it was only a dollar, I decided to break my word on her not getting any toys this trip and let her put it in the basket. When we got up to the register and swiped the card, the clerk said quietly, “Honey, it says insufficient funds.” I paused for a moment to think of how I was going to break the news to my daughter that she couldn’t get her snack or the car that she just picked out. Here, she just had an amazing time at the library and having to put all of her stuff back, would surely put a damper on that. I checked my account when I realized that an automatic draft I had forgotten about, came out and depleted our account. It’s a humiliating experience, but a very common one that most of us know all too well.
The cashier handed me her credit card, leaned in and said, “Here honey, please use this. I’m paying it forward for someone else who did the same for me, not that long ago.” I did my best to fight off the tears, swallowed my pride, and accepted her random act of kindness. When we got home and walked through the front door, my daughter let out a sigh and said, “This was the best day ever, Mom. Thank you, for taking me to meet new friends and to get a snack and my car.”
I had long since forgotten, but it was just about a year ago when I stood in line at that same corner store and purchased a lady’s cart of groceries for her, when her card came back declined. I didn’t do it for any reason other than having known what that felt like and wanting to help someone else, wherever I could. There was no thought at the time that at some point, I may need the same or that my act of kindness would come back as a blessing, but it did.
What we do, what we give of ourselves, how we treat others, always comes back around to us in one form or another. The lady today not only blessed us with her help, but she blessed me in calling to remembrance that there is kindness all around me. That all people are not cut from the same cloth as those who have dissappointed me, in the past. And that it’s okay to trust that most people walking through this life, are doing so with pure intentions and a kind heart. Whenever I begin to forget that, I’m going to remember this day, with endless amounts of gratitude, humility and love. ❤️