The other day I stepped into an elevator and out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman rushing toward the elevator. I pushed and held the “DOOR OPEN” button until the woman entered the elevator. The woman smiled at me and thanked me for holding the elevator for her. She mentioned that most people would not have held the elevator. I told her that it is sometimes the little things that mean so much. A minute or so later she stepped out of the elevator and then so did I. We went on our own separate paths. I did not know that lady and honestly I don’t even remember what she looks like. What has been stuck in my head is that holding the elevator for that lady was so simple but it made a positive impact in both her day and mine.
I have seen and read about coffee shops where one customer “pays it forward” and buys the stranger behind them a cup of coffee. The recipient of the free cup of coffee continues the act and before long hundreds of customers carry on this chain reaction. Every time I see or hear about these types of stories I get goose bumps.
Holding that elevator did not cost me a penny and I invested less than 30 seconds of my time. Paying it forward with a cup of coffee is only a few dollars. Normally the time, effort, and money that you put into a random act of kindness is so minute compared to the joy that you get out of it seeing the recipient’s reaction.
So please stop and think about giving this type of gift. Everyone has something to give. Eye contact and a smile, holding open a door, allowing someone to go ahead of you in line, these are just a couple of ways to get the ball rolling. Go ahead and try it!
I found a nice definition of a “random act of kindness” on Wikipedia. Just reading it made me smile. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone performed one random act of kindness a day?
“A random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person or persons wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual or in some cases an animal. There will generally be no reason other than to make people smile, or be happier. Either spontaneous or planned in advance, random acts of kindness are encouraged by various communities.”