I’ve read stories of people who pay for a person in line with them at a drive-thru, or pay for another customer’s meal in a restaurant, but I’ve never had it happen, or made it happen. Today I was able to observe a random act of kindness.
I was at the Dollar Store to get two items, which turned into five, but that was better than most trips that turn into ten items. As I get into the only line open there are six people ahead of me. Each one had a story, a life, a reason to be at the Dollar Store. The two older ladies who were checking out together shuffled slowly just like Mom used to. The next lady told the cashier to add a pink helium balloon to her order as she went over to get it. Then she turned and gave it to the toddler sitting in the shopping cart behind her. It was such a sweet, spur of the moment gesture. After they left I noticed the woman in front of me only had one item – some googles. Like the kind you might use in a chemistry lab at school. She began digging around in her big purse and could not find her wallet. She told the cashier she’d have to come back. That was my chance to follow the example of the balloon lady. I paid for the goggles. Such a simple act, a whole dollar plus tax, but I wondered, would I have even thought to do it had it been another day without the balloon lady in front of me? I want to think I would have.