I was at the Walmart the other day picking up some dog food and a belated birthday card for a friend whose birthday I missed. (The card was for the friend-the dog food was for my two dalmatians.) Anyway, I put the dog food in the trunk, got in the car, and turned my head to look out the window. Looking at the car next to me, I noticed a huge nail in the tire.
Not very long ago I had a nail in my front passenger tire that I knew nothing about until I walked to my car at the end of the day and saw a completely flat tire. It was 5:15 pm on a Friday and I was not a happy camper. So I dragged out the donut tire and flimsy jack from the trunk and proceeded to change my tire. Fortunately, one of my coworkers, Jeff, saw me down on the ground, and knowing what a macho-mechanical kind of guy I am (not), he decided to lend a hand. Actually, he did most of the work and I watched and acted like I was helping.
I thought about how nice it was of Jeff to help me as I sat in the car, staring at the nail in the tire. It was a Friday night and I’m sure he wanted to get home. And I would have eventually gotten the tire changed. After all, I can mow a lawn so I should be able to change a flat. It was a kindness–maybe not a random act of kidness because Jeff has known me for many years, but it was an act of kindness none-the-less.
I got out of the car and looked at the nail. I looked inside the car and saw a teddy bear and a small child’s backpack. It would really suck to be a parent with a small child and get stuck somewhere with a flat tire. I didn’t have a piece of paper so I wrote a note on the back of a ShopRite receipt. I stuck it behind the windshield wiper, got back in my car, and drove back to work.
I don’t know who owned the car or if they saw the note before they drove away. I hope that it helped and that they weren’t stuck with a flat like I was. In my youth, I did kind things in hopes that someday someone would do kind things for me. That isn’t kindness. It’s immature thinking. True acts of kindness require no reciprocation or acknowledgement. I’m not looking for a pat on the back or for people to start sending me money or gifts. (although I still need a digital camera. hint. hint.) I did it because it was a good thing to do. And it’s something that people just don’t seem to do much any more…a random act of kindness.