About a month ago a coworker of mine was explaining to me how he had to wait forever in line at Starbucks and was so annoyed until he went to pay for his coffee and was told that the lady who held up the line had paid for everyones order. I asked what he did in return and he said he threw the money he was going to spend on coffee in the tip jar.
I don't think he got it.
The girls got gift cards to Wal Mart from my dad for Christmas which they both wanted to spend them on video games so we headed to the store. Once they had selected their games, the Wal Mart employee instructed us to step up cutting in line in front of a man and his wife. The man mentioned we were taking cuts, in a joking manner and I apologized. While Shayna paid for her game, he commented on what they were buying noting that we had a fashion designer and a chef game. As Madison was getting ready to pay for her game, I was explaining to her that she would have to give the man cash also because her card was not enough to cover the game. It was then that the man behind us stepped forward and said he wanted to pay for the game for her. I asked him if he was sure, it was over $50.00 and he said yes, I want to buy the game for her. His wife then said that he thinks he is Santa Claus. As we were leaving he asked if I would promise to do the same to someone else some day, just a random act of kindness.
I am still kind of stunned and have mixed feelings about the whole thing. This man was a working-class guy, I could tell by his hands. Madison had the money to pay for the game. I felt uncomfortable accepting this gift from him but did not want to offend him either. I also can't stop thinking about how Madison is going to reciprocate his kindness.
I think the real gift is the opportunity to teach my daughter about kindness and charity.
I think she gets it.