Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

This morning I stopped at McDonald's on my way to work for a delicious refreshing beverage. There was only one car ahead of me so I waited patiently, singing along loudly to Leona Lewis and "Happy." Totally oblivious to the fact my window was rolled down. I was concentrating on my harmonies, you know?

Anyhoots, I ordered my large Diet Coke, declined the Egg McMuffin and zipped around to the window to pay. I was still digging in my wallet for the eight cents in tax when the girl working the drive thru says "Um, do you, like know that guy in the car in front of you?"

I glanced up at the back end of a white minivan. Didn't recognize the car, but I could see the driver's reflection in the side mirror. Didn't recognize him either. He looked like a nice guy, maybe early to late forties, glasses, conservative. Definitely a republican. Probably a dad, a husband, a dog owner. A golfer, for sure. Definitely a dude who took pride in his landscaping. And even though I couldn't see his feet, I would bet ten dollars he was wearing loafers. Nice ones.

I turned back to the McDrive Thru chick. "Nope. I have no idea who he is."

"Oh," she said, wrinkling her nose a little. "Well, um, he like paid for your drink."

"What?" I asked, looking back toward the van. "Why?"

"Don't know," she said, and closed the window.

I stared at the van in front of me. Maybe he was a client. Or a friend of my dad's. Or maybe he just really dug my singing. But most likely he was just a really nice person trying to do a good deed for the day. I gave my horn a little tap to get his attention and he looked at me through his rearview mirror.

"Thank you!!" I said as I waved and flashed a big smile. He smiled back and drove off.

I have no idea who this man was, but he made my day. Tomorrow, I am going to do the same for someone else. And you should do it, too!


Sue said...

Random acts of kindness...I love it! I posted about that very same thing today. If you have a sec, pop over and you'll see what I mean.

Marie said...

That is such a simple but beautiful thing to do.

Chris said...

I've done that once, at McD's even. Turned out to be someone I knew. Must try again....

Caitlin said...

Someone once did this for me at a toll booth and I thought it was the coolest thing ever! I immediately told the booth operator to take my money to pay for the guy behind me. I thought he would do it too! But alas, Mr. Big Mercedes, he shrugged and drove off. He's probably used to people taking care of him.

Oh, I'm sorry, did I ruin the feelgood vibe here? ;) thank you for reminding me of this. I will be sure to do this at some point this holiday season! Love you Miss Apes!

DutchMac said...

I love it when we find reminders that people are actually GOOD at heart! I was pleasantly surprised to find this trait in at least 2, sometimes 3 people on my early international travels with Little Cub (early meaning when I was on my own with him internationally when he was 3 months old, 7 months old, etc) In a time and place where people had every right to lose their kindness after 8 hours of a screaming, difficult baby, there were more than a few of them who went out of their way to help a frazzled, stressed mama. I blessed each and every one of them.

I think this is also a good lesson for us .... it's too easy to assume the worst of and judge people unfairly. For the most part, people aren't jerks. But it's nice to have that proven to us now and again.

Enjoy Paying it Forward tomorrow!

Julie said...

I've heard them talking about doing things like this on KLOVE (Random Acts of Kindness). Pretty cool! Would have made my day as well!

Chris H said...

What a totally nice Dude! Diet Coke... good choice!

The Maid said...

I've done that before, but only because I got the idea from someone else. :)

The coolest thing ever...a friend of mine was driving through Burger King...and the driver in front of her not only paid for her food, but the cashier handed her $100.00 and said it was from the guy in the car in front of her. He told her that he was a Christian and that the Lord laid it on his heart to give the money to her. My friend asked the cashier why she didn't keep the money herself and no one would have ever known...and the cashier said she was a Christian too and wouldn't want to do that!

The money was much needed too...they were about to lose their apartment and that money, among other God details, spared them being evicted!

You never know when God will use you to bless someone...with a diet coke, or more! :)

Kristin said...

This is a great story, April. Thanks for sharing! :)