Today when I parked in front of the local market and got out to feed the meter, it had an extra 25 minutes on it. Now, I can’t say for sure but I think it was a gift. No one in San Francisco leaves extra time on the meter let alone 25 minutes worth. So I took it as a gift. And when I left I paid for 2 hours worth for the next person.
I hope these posts brought you smiles. I know I enjoyed being mindful of them. If you celebrate Christmas have a wonderful holiday tomorrow. If not, have a wonderful day tomorrow.
Monday Dec 21. My daughter was at the subway station and it was pouring rain. She saw a young woman trying to get a big suitcase down three flights of slippery stairs as the escalator was not working. A young man offered to help her take it all the way down.
Tuesday Dec 22. My husband, daughter and I was off to a walk. My son had just woken up and needed to eat breakfast so didn’t feel like he could leave in time to go with us. After we had been walking about 10 minutes, my son called and asked which way we went and where we were. He was going to run to catch up with us. My husband said he’d run back to escort him so he wouldn’t be alone. My daughter and I waited so we could all walk together. Oh yeah, this was in the rain also, btw. Never-the-less, good to be all together.
While Christmas shopping today, my friend, my daughter and I went into a local coffee shop to get ourselves some holiday cheer. First, my friend offered to buy all of our coffees (RAK #1). Then we saw that my son’s friend was a cashier there. We hadn’t seen him in about 2 years. After a little catch up and ordering our coffees (and cookies) we noticed that the total was only about a 4th of what it should have been. He had used his employee discount to give us a gift (RAK #2). Then he even offered me a can of loose leaf tea.
Yesterday, while driving, my husband got honked at by a guy who was in a great hurry. And then the speeder abruptly sped up and cut us off. My husband felt really angry and started using very colorful language. As we got to the approach of the Bay Bridge we were stopped in traffic. There was an old guy with a sign standing in between the waiting cars. His sign said, “please help”. My husband reached into his wallet and took out a $10 bill and gave it to the man. As the cars started to move my husband said that he’d lost all anger at the speeder. Generosity cured his bad mood.
I’m not sure if this is a true random act of kindness, but I think it speaks to the gentleness and kindness that we all have in us. Since my right rotator cuff surgery, my neck and back have been aching in different places and quite sharply at times. I’ve been getting chair massages at the local mall at one of those places on the walkway. All the practitioners are Chinese and speak very little English. I worried how I was going to communicate my needs regarding how to massage my shoulder.
One man is extremely patient and gentle. With gestures and some words like “soft” or “ok” we have established a plan in the last 6 weeks. Today I needed to communicate that he could do a little more than the usual as my arm is getting better (thank you very much). He did well and at the end I thought it was touching when he did the usual hard pat down of my left shoulder and then gently stroked my right side for a longer time. It’s as if he understood that even though my right shoulder could not take deep tissue massage, it still needed the love.
An out-of-towner came to our Jazzercise class today. She is attending a conference and staying in an unsavory part of town. She took a cab to the center because she was late but wanted to take public transit back to her hotel. She asked for a “safe” way to get back. She was obviously nervous about the neighborhood that her hotel was in. One of the other Jazzercisers offered her a ride.
December 14th: Our Jazzercise teacher teaching our class on crutches after a motocycle accident. Everyone is soooooo appreciative because everyone wants to get together and workout regardless of the circumstances. Thanks so much Katie.
December 15th: A homeless man walked into a fast food restaurant and asked for a small free cup of coffee. The man behind the counter explained that he couldn’t oblige. Another man nearby came forth and offered to buy the homeless man a large coffee and a pastry! Warms the heart.
While searching random acts of kindness on the internet today I found that most of the hits were list of ideas that one could do. That’s wonderful! The benefits of acting with kindness and generosity cannot be understated. A steady diet will open one’s heart and generate joy and happiness unequivocally.
As a mindfulness teacher though, I also wanted to remind you of the benefit of just noticing the random acts of kindness that are going on all around us. They may be tiny or grand, pretty or ugly even, but they are continuous, ever reminding us of our loving nature. Think of the dad working to feed his family. Or the teacher on unpaid overtime writing a recommendation for a student’s college application. There’s the waitress with a smile or the person who lets you go first. Being mindful of these acts has an impact on our heart as well. If anything, it helps counter balance the constant barrage of negative stories we see and hear about all day.
On that note, the random act of kindness for today is that I put blankets on the floor under my heat registers. I noticed my cat sitting on the hard floor trying to catch the warmth there. This is not a bragging post. At first I paid no attention to the act, but as I looked at the kitty enjoying the soft blanket under the heat, I felt my heart get bigger. The act was nice, but the noticing the kindness (from or to whomever, doesn’t matter) is what brought on the joy. The awareness is the point.