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Random Acts of Kindness

Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by random acts of kindness?

Today I was shopping at a small neighborhood grocery store and noticed an elderly couple having a bit of trouble maneuvering. The man wore faded bib overalls and a shirt with the elbow torn out. His wife had the bearings of someone with dementia, including the strong smell of urine. Their cart blocked the aisle but they didn’t seem to notice.

I noticed the woman’s shoes were untied. Then the most unusual thing happened. A tall, well-dressed woman stopped in front of the foul-smelling lady, looked down at her kindly and said, “Your shoe laces are untied. Mind if I tie them for you?” And there in the aisle she knelt down and performed a humble act of service. Then she stood up, smiled and hugged the lady, in spite of the odor permeating the air around her.. That’s love in shoe leather.

I have been privileged to witness many other random acts of kindness through the years. My neighbor accidentally hurt her ankle and had to stay off her feet. Neighborhood children weeded her flower beds; others did her household chores.

Last summer another neighbor was overwhelmed with small children and a new baby. Her relatives got together and canned the vegetables from her garden.

Sometimes these random acts of kindness happen at just the right time to brighten one’s day: the person who lets you go first in line at the check-out because you have only a few items. The guy who lets you ease over into his lane in a traffic jam because you didn’t see the lane was closed ahead. The young person with bright eyes, waiting on you at the fast food counter, who smiles and acts as though she enjoys taking your order.

Having lived in large cities in the past, we were beginning to wonder if old-fashioned courtesy existed any more. Thankfully it does--at least in rural areas--and for that we are thankful.

What about you? Witnessed any random acts of kindness lately? Feel free to comment below.

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