February 19, 2014

Simple Acts of Kindness

We tend to complain about the state of the world these days, how horrible people are, the jerk that cut us off on the road, the rude woman who let the door slam shut in our face.  It's easy to give up and look at the world through cynical eyes.  But every once in a while someone goes out of their way to do something unexpected, something kind, something selfless and it gives you faith in the humanity again.

Chicago got slammed with snow this past Monday.  (I presume that other places got hit too, but I don't pay much attention to the rest of the world outside of home and New England.)  I got out of work at my internship early and faced a long drive home... it's almost an hour on a normal day.  My mom had the foresight to suggest I pack a bag before I left that morning, just in case, so as I drove towards the highway and tried to see around the snowflakes I contemplated just driving down the road and staying at my Aunt's.

I was riding on a quarter tank of gas, and I wanted to put a little bit in there just in case I did decide to go all the way home.  I also needed power steering fluid because my car goes through it like, like. I don't know, something fast.  So I went inside to buy a bottle and prepay about twenty dollars on the gas pump.

Well, I tried to pay, only to have my debit card rejected three times.  The cashier tried it as a credit, still denied.  I just have the one card and only had $10 in cash, so as I looked helplessly back and forth between my car and my wallet I said "Well, I should be able to make it home", and just paid for the power steering fluid.  As the cashier checked me out, he asked if I had enough.  I responded that I had a quarter of a tank, I thought I could make it.

And that's when he asked if I wanted him to put ten dollars on the pump and pay later.  His English wasn't that good, so at first I wasn't sure what he was saying.  He had to repeat himself a few times before I understood, and then I was a bit bewildered.  I couldn't pay for it now.  That's alright, he said. You come back and pay next time.  Tomorrow?  "I'll be back Wednesday"  I replied hesitantly.  He smiled at me and said, "That's good. Drive safe."

The world hasn't gone to the dogs yet.  There are still people out there who have sympathy for a young woman confused as to why her debit card won't work and worried if she'll make it down the road in a snowstorm and offer them a helping hand.  Its those simple acts of kindness that go to show that there's still good in this world and it's worth holding out for


  1. Acts of Random Kindness. :) I think, the best kind.
    ~ Country Girl's Daybook, recently posted: Catholic beauty & our student chapel: http://bit.ly/1c4jBmC


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