Random Acts of Kindness

Jennifer S. - RAoK.jpg

It was an ordinary day for my son and I. We had stopped at a gas station to pick up gas and chicken for dinner. My funds were low because my hours at work were cut. Part of me was afraid my card would be declined but the other part of me trusted that it would be ok.

I didn't want my son to worry. We pulled into a spot by the main entrance to the store. Standing just a few feet away from the entrance was a man holding up a sign. His clothing was wore and dirty. His face was downtrodden. I don't know what it was about him but I felt this strong urge to get him food and water. 

My son noticed him as well. He whispered to me "Did you see that man?" I acknowledged him and told him that I think we should pick him up a chicken meal. He thought that we should also get him a snack. I agreed. We ordered the chicken and walked through the aisles until we found a bag of chips. We walked over to the drink section and picked up a water. When I went to pay that sinking feeling filled my chest. 'Would it go through?' I wondered.

The words Approved flashed across the screen and I let out a breathe. I hadn't realized I was holding it in. When we got outside my son walked over to him and handed him the bag. He looked at him and looked at me. 

His eyes screamed confusion. He was perplexed. I told him it was a chicken box and water. He took the bag with hesitation. He thanked us and set the bag down on the ground beside him. We both followed the bag with our eyes. Now it was we who had become perplexed.

We didn't say another word as we turned and walked away. As we drove off my son asked me if I thought he would eat the food. I wanted to say yes but I wasn't sure so I told him the truth. "I don't know if he will or not but does it really matter?" He said "I don't know". 

I explained to him that we didn't do it for gratitude or praise we did it for him because we believed that he needed it. That was a while ago. We never saw him again. I never shared this story before until today. When I reflect on 2016 I like to think about moments like these. Moments when I did my part my make the world a better place. Moments where I can teach life lessons to my children. Moments when humanity still feels alive. I cherish these moments and they always remind me that no matter what I may be going through there is someone going through something worse. It takes just a moment to make a difference. How will you remember 2017?