Since there seem to be some readers who are joining this journey a little late, I will make it easy to catch up here: Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five, Day Six, Day Seven, Day 8, and Day 9.
Now that you have the whole picture of how this month has gone... you may be wondering about Day 10.
I fell asleep in the rocking chair and just woke up in the shape of a question mark. So, I am tired and sore and really want to go back to bed. But, as my one last act of kindness for the day... I will not leave my millions (handfuls) of followers hanging.
So, today might seem a little anti-climactic, but it was the best reaction I have gotten from someone yet. I have discovered that people are very suspicious of you when you randomly behave kindly. They look at you with a lot of suspicion, like you are about to yell that they just got punked. To be honest, the first reaction a lot of people seem to have is anger. I mean, I get it, nothing ticks me right off like a bunch of kindness, right!? I don't think people are actually angry, I think they are just afraid to get excited because even the smallest act of generosity from a stranger seems like an internet scam in on the horizon.
So, I had to get a few things at the store, and when I was in the checkout line, I bought three Snickers. I paid for all my items, and the cashier was probably a 15 year old kid. He bagged my items and handed me the receipt. I thanked him and said "Oh, but this is actually for you."
I handed him the Snickers and it was as if I gave him the keys to a brand new car. Ha! He just keep saying "No! You serious? Really? Naw, I can't accept that. Really!? It's for me? You can take it, I can't take that from you. Really!? You serious?"
I mean, it got to the point that I felt like I had to tell him that he didn't win the sweepstakes, it was just a candy bar. Then I realized that there is no way that this kid is old enough to know what the sweepstakes were! Then I wondered, what in the world was the sweepstakes!? Now THAT was a random act of kindness. Anyways, so I told him that it wasn't a new car, it was just a candy bar, but that he was doing good work and to keep it up. He really didn't seem like he was going to recover. I pictured the ladies on Extreme Home Makeover that faint when they "move that bus," and then re-faint in each new room. He woulda been a fainter.
The other two Snickers weren't as exciting. I was going to give the second one to a mom with a lot of kids. Mistake #1 in this scenario, never give a single candy bar to someone with many children. Mistake #2, probably shouldn't give it to someone with a peanut allergy. Woops, and woops.
So, I chase this lady down in the parking lot, she has a cart full of kids and she is yelling at one of her kids "Well, if you can't hold on to the receipt, then you can't be my receipt holder anymore!" I know this mom-moment, when you are to the point in your day when you are so frazzled that one more infraction - from your trusted receipt holder, no less - is just enough to push you over the edge into public hysterics. So, I gave her a Snickers. She told me about all the children and their peanut allergies... I felt dumb and said "Welp, are you allergic to peanuts because it was for you! You do all the work right!?" She did not have an allergy to peanuts, and concurred that she did in fact do all the work. She took that candy bar with just enough vindication to take a little edge off her impending insanity.
The third Snickers delivery was a little more work. I was insistent on giving the third one to the grocery cart collector guy. This is a horrible job because 1) it is freezing for most of the year in this part of New York. 2) You have to wear a neon yellow vest for absolutely no reason that I can possibly ascertain. I know that it is a reflector vest, and some will argue that it is for safety... but this is broad daylight and I don't care... I would rather get run over time and again than always have a bulky, neon vest on. The man deserves some candy.
I drove around 'til I caught him, and as soon as I hopped out and started toward him, he zipped away in a motorized cart. I got back in the van and chased him down again. Then I had to go a good bit on foot before I finally gave it to him. He was unimpressed and shoved the Snickers in his hideous vest and peeled out as fast as the motorized cart would take him.
It was nothing remarkable at all. It cost me about $2.50, tops. But, I noticed that I skipped back to my car, and my guess is that the fainter had a pretty good shift after that, too. Not because it was that big of a deal, but because even a small deal can lift our moods and our hearts... and it is so easy, I really do not understand why I haven't been doing this all along. People have paid big prices for our comfortable lives in America, and it just seems silly to be anything but randomly, unnecessarily kind and generous. After being a Christian for most of my life, I hate that I am just now starting to see how simple it is to love another person. I have always thought of myself as someone who would lay my life down for another... but, maybe God doesn't always require us to die for someone else. Maybe, sometimes, He just wants us to buy them candy.