Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fun Monday - Random Acts Of Kindness, Part 1

Jill is our host this week... and next! She's come up with a unique Fun Monday Challenge - which encompasses two weeks!

This week: Write about a Random Act of Kindness (or more than one) that you have had done for you, or that you have witnessed, or that moved you.

Then, during the week of February 15th to the 22nd, you should do your OWN Random Act of Kindness and for FM on the 22nd, you will write about your Random Act of Kindness - what prompted it, what you did, how it made you feel.

So... this is week one. I have two stories.

A friend of mine was waiting in line at the grocery store behind a little, older woman who after being rung up couldn't find her debit card. There was much searching in her purse while the woman behind my friend was grousing about how long it was taking. My friend got tired of listening to the woman behind her and felt a little sorry for the woman in front. So she stepped forward, handed her own debit card to the cashier and told her to put the groceries on her card.

The woman was astounded. She thanked my friend profusely, then asked for her address so she could reimburse her. My friend assured her that wasn't necessary, that she should pay the favor forward whenever she had the means and opportunity. She did give her a business card though, because the woman asked for it.

A week later, a thank you note and a check for the amount of the groceries arrived. My friend called the woman to protest the check, but she wouldn't take it back. So my friend donated it to the humane society, then wrote the woman to tell her what she did with the money.

I always knew there was a generous heart in there.

Another generous heart belongs to my brother Jerry. His has always been large - he's got a long history of going out of his way to help friends, family and strangers alike.

Even what he does for a living is like that. He owns his own towing business. But if he can fix whatever it is there on the spot, he will, no tow needed - even when that is how he makes his living.

Recently, the father of a friend of his died unexpectedly. When Jerry heard of this, a song by one of my family's favorite singer/songwriters popped into his head. He decided to find this song for the funeral. He tried the internet and discovered that but for a short sample of it, it didn't exist online. So he started calling everyone he knew who might have a copy of the record the song was on (it was released back in the 70s). No one had that particular album, which was the very first album of the artist.

The artist is Mike Cross. He's made his living doing music, and appeared on a program we taped once called "Blue Sky, Bluegrass" on the back stage of a local bar. The picture is of Mike during that taping.

Stymied, Jerry finally went to Mike's website and sent him an email explaining the situation, which song he was looking for, and why he wanted it. He didn't expect to hear back anytime soon, but within an hour, Mike had replied, saying that he would check with his agent to see if something could be arranged. And within three hours, the song in question was sent to Jerry for that one specific use - no copying, no use other than the one it was requested for. And of course, Jerry being Jerry, that is exactly what happened. The song was used for the funeral. And that was all.

There are two different random acts of kindness in that story: Jerry's for working so hard to make that man's funeral special and Mike's for making it happen.

I am lucky. I know a lot of people who commit RAK on a regular basis. They don't know that anyone else knows. And they don't care. See a need, fill a need. If only the whole world operated on that basis instead of so many what's-in-it-for-me people.

Next week's assignment will be hard. Not that doing a random act of kindness is hard - it's very easy. It's the telling that's hard because by their very nature, these acts are not something that gets publicized.

Now go visit Jill to see what stories other people have to tell about random acts of kindness. I'm sure it will give a lift to your day.


min said...

My random act of kindness is that I'm commenting on your post.

Jerry's pretty nice looking, isn't he?

Seriously, those were very nice things that your friend and brother did. It's nice to know there are generous hearts out there.

Sayre said...

All five of my brothers are beautiful, Min. Inside and out.

Janis said...

Your Brother sounds like a gentle kind soul. Being kind to one another is the best gift you can give yourself n others. Thanks for sharing Sayre

Lil Mouse said...

How nice to have such love in your life and to be a witness to it. I was kind of hoping to avoid the typical Valentine posts and all that mushy stuff, because not everyone is into that and really, it would have been predictable, and that's just not me!

You're right, it will be hard to write about some things. But maybe through this, others will spread the word, good works, and life will all be a little better. I've come to the conclusion that my own life won't be very 'useful' so to speak, as far as careers or anything go, but I hope to spread the love and charity that I am able to, in some small way. Thanks for playing this week. and next!

The Church Lady said...

Your brother certainly does have a big heart. I'm sure there are many more stories like this about your brother.

That was a very generous act by your friend in the store. She did it because she "wanted" to. That is what defines a random act of kindness.

Gattina said...

Both acts are wonderful. But the story with the old lady toched me even more.

We had a terrible train accident just before Brussels this morning at 8.30. My friend Ilona who lives 5 min from there woke up by a big bang. two trains crashed into each other frontally. There are at least 25 dead and more than 150 people injured, it's just terrible. It is a very important line to Brussels and there were many people on the train to go to work. Fortunately we have school holidays for the moment, otherwise there would have been a lot of children too. Just now the King is visiting the place. I will know more tonight.

PinkPiddyPaws said...

Pay it forward. I'm ALL about some pay it forward!! :) (and it does feel weird to write about your own good deeds, but I look at it as: not self promotion, but as encouragement for others to do good deeds)


Faye said...

Your stories just warm my heart, Sayre. The friend who stepped up to help an elderly person just because it was the decent thing to do without worrying about the WIIFM. And your brother--he has kind eyes--for taking the time and effort to do something that most people would have just shrugged off as a "Well, I tried. . ." Restores your faith in humanity, doesn't it?

gayle said...

Such awesome acts of kindness!!

joangee said...

How fortunate you are to have a loving, caring family and friends...

Their deeds are truly inspirational!

Neither of us have any family remaining. (result of growing older)

Hoosier Girl said...

Awwww....I like your brother! And he's cute, too!

Great stories.


thisnewplace said...

oooh i loooove these things and in love with your brother. reminds me of the tow truck driver who helped me out once