The Kindness of Strangers

I was waiting on the street corner to meet my boyfriend last night, and he’s running late due to a bustastrophe. It was 40 degrees outside, and I’d overestimated how balmy it would be (it was double the temperature it had been – I got excited), so I wasn’t wearing a jacket. After a few minutes, I ducked into Dunkin Donuts for some warmth.

Now, I’m not a person who eats donuts for breakfast or generally craves the hole-y little treats, but standing there, with that distinctive Dunkin smell in the air, I couldn’t help myself. And besides, I felt guilty to take up space in the store without buying anything, so that’s my excuse.

I asked the man behind the counter, “Do you sell just one Munchkin?” and he said yes, they cost a quarter. So I order a chocolate one, and the customer standing next to me deposits a quarter in the tip cup and says, “It’s on me.” I cautiously thanked him (I mean, you never know what ulterior motives…), and he replied back in a gentle Australian twang if I’d like coffee as well. I said no thank you, and he wished me goodnight and departed with his coffees. When I was handed my donut hole, I was handed two, with a smile and an “Enjoy!”

The sweetness of those two strangers surpassed the sweetness of those two donuts, and their unexpected kindness made my day. I walked away smiling and thinking to myself how every time I feel like I could give up on humanity (see Pat Robertson on Haiti), humanity pleasantly surprises me. It’s amazing how each and every one of us has the ability to make a positive (or negative) impact upon one another. It doesn’t take much, even less than a quarter – like holding a door, or helping carry a stroller up the steps, or simply smiling at someone in the elevator – to let some sunshine in.

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One thought on “The Kindness of Strangers

  1. You brought up a wonderful point…indeed the act of kindness sometimes can be life changing. In your case was positive vibes and a notion of appreciation in others may impact their lives for ever.
    I have read this true story that “a boy was going home from school with all his books tucked under his arm. A group of school boys catch up to him and knock him down, books fly one side of the side walk, his glasses and book case to the other side of the side walk. The boy’s eyes weld up with tears and desperately looking for his eye glasses. I ran toward him and help him up and gather the books and fined his glasses. The boy thanks me and with a sad smile continued his way. I followed him and found out that he lives near my residence. I helped him with his books and asked him to join my friends and I for the game of football that weekend. We had lots of fun that weekend and we become the best friend. 4 years later he was elected to talk at the high school graduation ceremony. He began to talk and he said that I’m hear to say to you all that the act of kindness is the best gift you can give to anyone. I have to tell you a story, story of my life. He began talking about our first date we met and our friendship, he said that day he emptied his locker to bring his books and his belongings home and had a plan to kill himself that night. One act of kindness rescued me and now I’m here to stand before you and tell my story. You never know how your act will impact some others life, may for Good or for Bad, and you need to know we all have a purpose in being in this world and one is to be kind to each other.”

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