Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness, or Kind of Randomness

So, on Thursday I took up a challenge by a 'friend' on Facebook to do a random act of kindness to someone I don't know, and to re-post the challenge as my status. (I realize I have taken up several challenges, ie poem from song lyrics, with nothing to show for it to date, but...I digress). So, here I am thinking there will be this huge, random wave of goodness on the way; but I have to say the whole thing was a bit underwhelming. I think I was the only one who responded to him, and only one person responded to me saying, 'I do that all the time anyway, and it's no big deal.' To which I thought, 'well, I do nice stuff every day too, or most days....'
But writing that back just seemed wrong. So instead I write it here. lol

So, I put myself into helpful, kind, good-Samaritan mode and set out with my daughter to pick up an odd assortment of groceries, household products and a really-belated Christmas present. I figured there would be loads of chances for random do-gooding, but the opportunities were surprisingly scarce. Then as we were about to leave the mall parking lot I saw the car in front of us had its lights on, and the driver was still sitting there. So, I helpfully and randomly, through a combination of shouts and gestures, communicated to him that his lights were still on.

Now, it's just a little thing, and I'm feeling mildly dissatisified, that that deed was not good enough to count. All the way through the next store, nothing. Then I saw my chance. I'm standing in line at a self-check register and the woman checking herself out - er...checking her purchases out - in front of me is having trouble. Turns out she has mistakenly chosen the Spanish language option and she doesn't speak Spanish. Neither do I, but what the hell; I'm gonna help! I quickly realize that the way I can be most helpful is to get a store employee to come over and reset the thing. Which I did...then moved to a different register. After all, my daughter's sweet and sour chicken from the deli was getting cold. Good-ish deed #2?

So, as we're leaving this large parking lot, another parked car has it's lights on (it was one of those grey, gloomy Wisconsin winter days, when one puts one's lights on to be seen, rather than to see). No driver in the car, so I call the store and report it, then drive off. Well, I guess I can count this as #3. As my daughter is taking the first bite from her container of chicken I see there is an old guy at the stop light with a sign begging for food. I tell Kate, 'Look. Maybe you should give him your chicken.' Being a basically good and decent and guilt-ridden middle class American she does. So, do I count this as good deed #4? Really, that was Kate's good deed. And, come to think of it I mostly just got other people to do good. I mean, I didn't translate the Spanish, or announce the headlights or give up my chicken. I'm more of a 'good deed facilitator' rather than good deed doer.

Anyway...at least some kind of good stuff got done. But, no tidal wave...more like a leaky faucet.

1 comment:

  1. Your good deed thought's were turned into action's