I have been wanting to write this blog for a few days now, but life has been hectic. The kids are watching Disney Junior now, and I have NO appointments today…thank goodness, so I have a few minutes to sit down and share my thoughts.
A few days ago, I went to the drive through at a local Tim Hortons. I placed my order for about $5.00 worth of stuff, drove up to the window and reached into my jacket pocket for my Debit card…then I reached into my other jacket pocket for my debit card. Then I reached into my purse, my pants pocket, my purse again and my coat pockets again. The young lady at the window watched my mounting frustration and leaned out the window. In a quiet voice, she said to me “Look, if it is okay with you, I can give you all the things that we have right here. Your bagel isn’t cooked yet, but you can have everything else, on the house. ” I just looked at her, stunned. Then she turned to the girl behind her and said, “don’t cook the bagel.” That girl piped up and said “No. I’ve got the bagel. Its cool.” I am getting goose bumps, just thinking about it. I know that the amount was small, but to me it was incredible. It meant the difference between getting coffee on a busy and stressful morning and not. It meant the difference between getting the baby his (second) breakfast because I was out doing errands and not. I told the girl at the window how thankful I was and how much I appreciated it and told her that I am telling all my friends to go there and buy their breakfasts and lunches.
The thing is, that when I worked at a gas station, many moons ago, I used to do the exact same type of thing. When someone was a little short, if I had it to give, I gave. It is the way I have always tried to live my life (as an adult, anyway) and it is the way I hope to raise my children.
I bring extra toll money when possible and give an extra doller at each pass through and tell the attendant to tell the next car to have a nice day. Never knowing who the person is. Hoping that it brightens the person’s day. My Dad says it is a waste of money. I don’t think so. I even went so far as to buy Maine post cards, write “Have a great day” on them and ask the person in the booth to give one to the next car. Maybe naieve. Maybe foolish. But I can’t help wondering if the person in the car behind me feels a little happier after that toll booth (and how often can you say that in your life?) I can’t do it as often any more, simply because I rarely carry cash. But eventually, I will remember to grab a few extra dollars again and start the habit.
As I was writing this, I originally put “I know some one who brings…” which is technically true. I know me pretty well. I didn’t want anyone reading this to think that I am bragging about what a good person I am or to think that I am honking my own horn, so to speak. and it is something I have done anonomously and quietly for years. But it was important to me to show concretely that there are people out there who care about others as a whole, and may not be in a position to help others in any big, flashy way. Or even to donate time to help people that really need it in shelters and soup kitchens. As much as I would love to do that, and have been inspired by Pat, a dear friend of mine who works at a homeless shelter in Pennsylvania, I simply do not have the time to do so at this point. So I do my small things in my small way to brighten people’s day. And I never know if it does. But the hope that it has brightens my day.