One of the very nicest gifts I ever received in my life cost only $5.50. Even though it’s been several years ago, I still remember it quite vividly and it still brings a warm smile to my heart. The gift was gone in about 30 minutes, but the effects of it continue to linger.
My daughter Danielle was home from college on Christmas break. Due to all the gift giving coming up we were both stretched thin financially, but we were still eager to visit a new gourmet cheesecake store that was recently opened near our house. Having only a few dollars between us we thought we would pool our money and share some decadent chocolate dessert.
Oh, but what to choose? White chocolate, chocolate with raspberries, chocolate and peanut butter, dark double chocolate-the cheesecake options went on and on. Plus, there were tortes and mousse cakes and cookies and truffles and we could clearly see that our appetite was much bigger than our pocketbook. We wanted one of this and one of that and …you get the picture.
We had so much fun discussing and deciding that we had to say to another customer who came in after us; “you go ahead; we can’t make up our mind yet.” The gentleman knew exactly what he wanted and also had an order to pick up. Finally, we had figured out how to stretch our tiny money pool to buy three treats and we were now at the cash register. We waited for the gentleman to pay for his order which had just been brought up.
He turned to us with a smile that indicated he had been observing our little dilemma and then back to the cashier. “Ring theirs in with mine,” he said. “Oh no,” we protested but he quickly paid the whole bill. He dismissed our effusive thanks with a small wave and, “No, not at all, have a Merry Christmas” and then he was gone.
It was such a simple and kind gesture. A random act of kindness. But what a profound effect it had on us. We weren’t the same after that; we felt lifted with good will toward all for the remainder of the holiday season. We were patient in lines and courteous in bumper to bumper traffic. Mainly we thought about ways we could pass some kindness on to someone else we might meet by chance encounter. I’d bet you a piece of chocolate cheesecake that guy has no memory of us by now; he just did something nice and went on. But his kindness went farther than he could have imagined. Now I have given this story to you. Pass it on.