Three Small Acts of Deliberate Kindness
Act One: In the supermarket the other day I spent a C-note on various groceries and convenience foods. "At Publix Supermarkets No Tipping is Our Policy" (but tipping is not outlawed). The 60 year old bag "boy" sacks the goods. I carry them out myself always. But I give the bagger a measly $2 tip. And he smiles so wide at the small tip and my few words of compliment. I have never seen a -cashier- get a tip. But I just gave $2 to the bagger for moving the same goods that the cashier had to handle. So, I give HER a measly matching tip of $2. Not only does she break out into a big, shocked grin, but the bagger is given further joy to realize this customer thinks of them as an equal -team-. An equally hard working, under salaried team. I make a 4% tithe if you will, of my purchase to support the working man and woman with family to feed. My life is a breeze in comparison. I am a cheapskate, yes, but small kindnesses of cash help preserve families and family values, agreed?
Act Two: Homeless-looking street person approaches in public. "Can you spare me fifty cents so I can make the Metrorail fare to get home?"
A patent lie! These people are mostly drug addicts, not even alkies- they are crack heads! Shameless but always polite when panhandling. "Wash your windshield?" A ruse! "Collecting quarters for the Mission, honest!" Where's your license badge then, wastrel!
What I do to these dregs of lost humanity -sometimes-. IF I have the bill and get the right "sense" about the person, I hand the poor blighter a Five Dollar Bill.
That makes me an "enabler" you know! Five dollars does not put a meal in the person's belly. It puts a crack rock in his pipe. Bad? Well yes, but.... these people are prisoners of a drug habit, who will rob, steal, assault, if not fed their needs. The cure rate despite all interventions is abysmally low. So -sometimes- I just feed them the LCD of what they need for fix. My self-coined motto is: Better he be a beggar than a burglar.
Act Three: A true incidence, happened to me just five nights ago. While stopped at the intersection of two four-lane roadways, a disabled, middle aged black man assayed to cross walk way in front of my car. The path is some 70 feet long. The man, who -looks- hale and strong, was walking with the aid of a walker. In the tiniest, most tentative steps of the most decrepit centenarian.
The walk light is about three minutes long. At the two minute mark the disabled fellow had not got even half way across the intersection.
Other drivers were present and witnessed this pitiful poor guy. Is it a ruse? A sham? He -looks- so young and perfectly fine except for the shambling slow walk. In Miami ruses are not uncommon. You sucker yourself in by being a Samaritan and--- bump goes your head in thanks.
I turn on the four way flasher, get out and shield the man, saying, "let me ensure by waving that no right-turning car or intersection speeder risks running you down".
'OH, Mon!" says the surprised man in perfectly strong, clear Bahamanian accent. "You are a good mon, thank you, very kind!"
His feet dance faster but he moves no quicker at all. Sort of dances in place. Very strange! Something really wrong with the fellow's coordination.
With inquiry he says he has another four city blocks to walk. He' already walked ten long city blocks- from the hospital where he, a charity case, has just been discharged. A stroke victim. White plastic ID wristband offers final proof of his plight. He is returning to his hovel-room in an assisted living motel, former love motel, converted by the City to house charity case indigents.
I insist my new acquaintance into my automobile and he is soooo relieved, happy to have a friend in this world.
PLUS all the other cars waiting for us to move on, show smiling faces from inside -their- interiors. Smiles all around. Everybody wins! And I learned that the ripple effect of a very small act of deliberate kindness may be observed fanning outward across the world from the moment you drop a pebble of non-judgemental fraternal love.
Those are my three small sample deeds presented in 2,000 excess of words .
Tell IMO about your own public kindnesses- they may be as different as church volunteering, or the rescue of abandoned pets.
Tell, say, three of your favorite giving acts. If you can be briefer than I- that's a very good act of public kindness in itself.
But please don't give any praise to me. That's not the point of this new thread.
blessings to you all from a non-religious fellow who finds that the best earthly blessings for himself are obtained in making human smiles where none existed before.