It's funny to me that the things you anticipate as the easiest in life often turn out to be the most challenging. When I saw that the Yoga Girl challenge included three days of Random Acts of Kindness as the theme I thought I had it in the bag. I love that kind of stuff.
I want so badly to give in a way that will positively impact someone’s life that I search for the biggest and grandest thing to do without realize that it’s the little things in life that often go so far and mean so much.
So I thought all day on Day 19 of the challenge about what to do as I schlepped my brother all over NYC playing tourist and tour guide simultaneously. As we entered a downtown subway to make our way back uptown I stumbled over two dollar bills that had been dropped on the ground. I picked them up and looked around immediately for the person who lost them, or at bare minimum, someone else to hand them to. How in the world had a random act of kindness made it’s way to me when I was meant to be doing it for someone else?! With no one claiming the two bills and no one to hand them to, I pocketed the money and my brother said “lucky you!” as we walked downstairs to the train.
As he and I emerged from the Time Square subway station to a city where the sky had broken open and rain was pouring down I began to dig in my backpack for the two umbrellas I had packed for us. Right next to us was a mother and daughter and they were looking up the stairs at the rain coming down with a marked sense of dread. The three of us exchanged “what are you gonna do?” smiles and the duo headed up the stairs. Without thinking I stopped them and asked if they had an umbrella. “No,” the daughter said smiling, “In South Carolina where we’re from it doesn’t really rain like this.”
I handed them one of our umbrellas. “Here. Take this.”
The daughter shook her head, “We can’t,” she said.
“Please,” I replied. “Take it. You’re gonna need it.”
They began to tell me where they were going and all of their information so I could retrieve the umbrella later. “Keep it,” I said. “I have another, and really, it’s no big deal.”
They looked at me in gratitude and took the umbrella. “Thank you so much,” they said as they opened the umbrella and headed out into the pouring rain.
No, I thought with a sigh of relief. Thank you.
That’s the thing about giving, though—when you are constantly looking for the opportunity to give, it was always present itself. And usually…usually, you’ll find a couple of bucks in return.