Yesterday, as I was ordering a coffee, an older lady came into the local café and waited behind me. I thought of buying her drink, then hesitated for a moment, before diving in and asking what she would like.
Even though I told the barista quite audibly that I would buy the woman’s drink, the woman still didn’t understand that I had purchased her coffee, including after I explained the situation. When I finally got the point across, she was stunned. Why would I, a stranger, buy her a drink? She just couldn’t believe that I had extended this small kindness, but she was extremely appreciative.
It felt good to bring a teeny bit of joy and surprise into someone’s day. I know how profoundly grateful I’ve felt when someone unexpectedly showers some generosity on my path–a smile, a humorous or caring comment, a yielding in a queue. So, I was delighted that I hadn’t heeded my momentary hesitation.
Just in case I had missed the lesson, the Universe made the point loudly and clearly. Right after my new acquaintance, the barista and I had been chatting playfully while the drinks were made, another woman came up to us and claimed that my coffee pal had hit the other woman’s car and left a scrape. The woman had a witness. The light tone of the moment darkened noticeably.
When I drove out of the parking lot, I passed the two women inspecting a car. My heart sank.
It reminded me how important it is to seize these small yet priceless opportunities to brighten up our wee corners of cosmic real estate. Fortunes and dreams and lives can turn on a dime.
The headlines and my life and that of all the people I know highlight this fact. The numerous struggles I am aware of just recently spur me on to seek out more ways to be generous, to connect, buoy, and spread more light. And love.
Kindness? The time for it is NOW.
“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson