The young lady at the register fumbled through her purse looking for money. Her credit card had been rejected when she tried to buy a cup of coffee in the busy Atlanta airport.  Her embarrassment caused her cheeks to blush. She turned to apologize to all of us in the long line behind her.  A gentleman behind her handed her the money to buy the drink.

I was in line the next day at a coffee shop in Manhattan, Kansas and a young lady faced a similar predicament.  Dr. Olivia Collins offered to pay for the girl’s coffee and requested it be added to her total. When Olivia walked away to get more money out of her purse, the girl behind us paid for Olivia’s bill, too.

This is the official Random Acts of Kindness week. To borrow a line from Major Frank Burns on a M.A.S.H. show, “It’s nice to be nice to the nice.”

It was interesting to observe these random acts of kindness and to observe the reactions of people. Here are a few observations I made:

      • One kind act leads to another
      • People are reminded of other moments when they received a random act of kindness
      • The giver feels very good about their benevolence
      • The receiver suddenly feels like they owe the giver (one commented, “Can I have your address? I’ll send you the money)
      • One kind act inspires those around to actively look for opportunities to pay-it-forward
      • People feel a part of a community
      • One act of kindness restores faith in humanity

Here is the message portrayed through an act of kindness:

      • You matter
      • You are not alone
      • Someone has interrupted their busy life to think about you
      • People around you care about your struggle

I traveled a lot this week and had occasion to watch a few random acts of un-kindness, too.

I vote we have a whole year of random acts of kindness, not just one week.