Day 642: Random acts of niceness

See, I'm not the only one who picks up Timmies' litter!

The other day, a friend emailed me to point out that saying hello to my bus driver doesn’t qualify as a good deed. That in a civilized society, greeting each other should be part of everyone’s day.

My friend grew up in a warm, friendly small town. I, however, grew up in a suburb of Toronto, where talking to a stranger gets you a funny look … and a report to Neighbourhood Watch.

I tried to explain to my friend that I will probably never feel comfortable approaching a total stranger, so even making eye contact and smiling is a huge deal for me. It is getting a little easier but “Howdy, Neighbour!” or a hearty high-five is totally out of the question.

What I did do today was leave some coins in one of those kiddie rides at the shopping mall so there’ll be a free ride for the next kid  … or really short grown-up … who comes along.

I came across this great story today and wanted to share it with you….

Random Acts of Niceness
by Scott
Last week I was rushing to the airport in Long Beach to return the rental car and run to the gate in time to get on my flight. Now I’m someone who is always at least 17 hours early for everything (apparently including a career in the show business) but be that as it may, I got there with a short half hour to spare before boarding the plane.

I was sweaty (for all the wrong reasons) and just had time to go to the restroom, think of Larry Craig and not tap my foot before they started the boarding process.

I was one of the first people on the plane. Soon after I got seated, I saw this woman in her sixties (at least) shlepping down the aisle with a carry on roller bag that was nominated for “most unlikely to fit in an overhead bin.”

As she approached, I automatically stood up and asked if I could put her bag up for her. A bit dumbfounded, she stared at me and nodded and after wrestling a bit I managed to get her bag in the bin. She moved into her row (which ended up being across from me) and she seemed unsure of herself. (Almost like a dog that has to circle several times before laying down).

Finally, she looked over at me and said, “I can’t thank you enough for getting that bag up for me. I just don’t expect people to do things like that. I’m in such a happy mood now I don’t know what to do with myself!”

She finally settled in and we took off. I won’t lie, I put my headset on and watched some Direct TV on the seat back in front of me because: A) they were showing reruns of Project Runway ;and B) I had had a not so great day myself and really didn’t want to deal with a chatty Cathy all the way to Vegas.

After landing in Vegas I took her bag down for her and she told me that it was one of the nicest things anyone had done for her in a long time. Really? I thought. But then again, I can’t remember the last time someone held a door for me (or my hair when I was throwing up).

P.S. Great song from Melody Gardot. Enjoy!

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Day 642: Random acts of niceness

  1. Hey, this same thing happened to me! I mean the person saying my good deed wasn’t good deedish enough. lol I’m super excited, and also horrified, to see how long you’ve been doing the good deeds. I say that only because I started out trying to do one good deed a day, and somehow it has begun multiplying….I imagine if I make it as long as you, that I will only be able to do good deeds round the clock, foregoing work and paychecks and the like. We’ll see. LOVE your blog!

  2. Bea

    Hoping to see your “sunflower” banner, soon!! 🙂

  3. This blog is great! I stumbled upon this quite by accident, but then again, maybe it was meant to be. I believe in making things happen, but timing is of the essence as to how things can work out to their best.

    I’m reminded that when I used to rush every morning to my job in downtown Washington, DC, that I would be in a hurry to get from Point A to Point B, mainly because I was running late, as I really enjoyed being at Point A much more than Point B. But, I would always try to take a moment to enjoy my journey and if possible, help someone on the way. One morning as I was scurrying down the street, I noted a woman with a long white cane (the universal issue for the blind) and she was quite capable of walking alone, but there were a series of newly errected wire fence to block off pedestrians for some construction. I’m sure she would have been OK without assistance, but I could also see she would have been dumbfounded and confused by this sudden, unexpected and potentially hazardous blockade. I proceeded to ask her if she would like assistance, as there were obsticals in her way. She was surprised, but quite delighted that someone would take the time to help her not have a mishap and it only took me a few minutes longer to get to my destination (the infamous Point B).
    The whole act of random kindness was of little consequence to the world in whole, but it helped someone who could have hurt themselves and it made my day much brighter for doing so.

    The oddest thing about this was that when I arrived at work (Point B), I was still smiling within and maybe a little on the outside too, and when I shared my efforts with a co-worker (senior co-worker), all she could do was snicker and scoul as if this meant something. Sadly she did not share my joy, but then that was reflective of her life being somewhat joyless because of her choices in life.

    Moral of the story: Take a moment to make someone smile, and this moment will continue inside you and it just may spread from within both parties and onward.

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