“Practice random acts of kindness.”
It’s a great mantra, and it’s spurred some beautiful moments. Yet there’s a difference between “practicing” those acts on occasion, and being a truly kind person.
Case in point — Hubby and I backed our golf cart up to the outside edge of the local outdoor concert Friday night. We were tucked in between an empty silver pickup and a large green bush, with a nice little green grass spot between us and big log beam that served as the border of the park. We set up our beach chairs, unwrapped our BLTs, popped the lid on a frosty adult beverage and kicked back to the enjoy the show.
It’s the summer of COVID-19, so people were for the large part being respectful of distances and setting up their chairs on the sunny lawn in front of the band shell spaced apart from other groups. Still, being tucked in our shady grove under a palm tree, with no one walking by or coming near, was pretty great.
Eventually the owner of the pickup came by, folded down the tailgate and jumped up to enjoy the show too. I shot him a smile and said a quick “hey;” back to enjoying the music.
Eventually I had to make the short trek to the community trash bin so get rid of our supper trash. Grabbing hold of the edge, I did a little involuntary “eww,” thinking of all the hands that had just done the same.
As I walked the 20 paces or so back to the cart, I said to John, “Dang, forget the hand-sani.”
I wiped off my hands with what I had around, and sat back down. Meanwhile, silver truck guy walked toward his cab, shooting us a quick smile. He came back holding out his hand sanitizer, saying simply “I overheard you saying you forgot yours.”
I gratefully held out my hands and offered up what felt like a beaming smile, saying “Thank you for being a kind person!”
The gel was hot from sitting in the North Carolina summer heat, and the warmth spread from my hands to my soul.
There’s been a lot of ugly online lately, and in person. And it seems to spread like a virus when we’re exposed to it. I’ve been struggling with my mental state for weeks now.
This one moment — this simple act of human kindness — reminder me that good still exists. It’s rampant, in fact.
As I settled back to enjoy the rest of the show, the band launched into Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”
Carol Pearson is the founder of 10 Little Rules and the author of 10 Little Rules for a Blissy Life. She reminds us all to remember Rule 4: Focus on kindness & love