Every time I hear this quote, I always get mixed feelings about what it means — ‘random acts of kindness.’ Like who really takes time out of their day for pure, random acts of kindness — I’m not talking about being nice (I’m nice, he’s nice, she’s nice, I feel like the majority of the world is nice) but I have rarely seen people take time out of their do to perform random acts of kindness to complete strangers. Well…today, I was proven wrong.
**Fast forward to about 5:30pm – rush hour
I was racing down U Street heading to Bus Boys and Poets so I could buy some tickets to their almost sold out poetry show for tonight (and when I say almost sold out, I was racing to get one of the last tickets out of maybe 9 left…and of course, they couldn’t hold it for me). So I was rushing down the street, paying no attention to anyone but the road, my walking and the intended destination — the corner of 14th and V. But as I was power walking down the street, I passed a man by a restaurant who said “Miss, miss, ma’am, hey ma’am.” Because I was on a mission and because random men will try to talk to you all the time on the street, I ignored him. Was this rude? Yes, but I was in a hurry and I assumed he was trying to use “ma’am” as a way to lure me in for a really bad pick up line.
But as I was about to cross over to 14th, this same man ran up to man and said “Ma’am, I see you’re in a rush but all I wanted to do was give you this flower. Have a nice day.” At this moment, I actually paused. I was in shock that someone actually ran up to me after I completely ignored them and gave me a flower. It was one of the nicest gestures I’ve received in while and it made me appreciate the magnitude of random act of kindness.
Now some of you may think, there’s no kindness behind this act. But to me, this was one of the kindest things that could have happened at the moment. It was the sense of “all I want to do is make someone happy” that I got from this gesture and this flower and I appreciated it as I ran across the street to Bus Boys (And you’ll be happy to know that I did make it to Bus Boys in time to buy two of the last tickets for the poetry show which was sold out — see a future blog post about that soon!)
And after, I successfully completed my mission. I decided to take a second to slow down and literally smell the flower and appreciate it’s simple beauty…a simple yellow rose…small but delicate and thoughtful. I also purposely walked back by the restaurant to thank the man who gave me this flower and extended this truly random act of kindness. He said he wanted to give me a flower because it looked like I needed something to brighten up my day and it actually it’s probably true. After 8 hours in office and then a mad dash to a poetry shop can make a girl look stressed. But I graciously thanked him again and told him I appreciated the flower.
So there you have it, the myth behind the quote is true and there are people out there in the world who extend random acts of kindness to strangers.
Until next time,
(My flower — ie. the evidence that random acts of kindness do exist).
(I don’t have a vase so the next best thing was an old water bottle. But it’s now on display in my living room).