As I have told you in a previous post, here is my first attempt at completing a random act of kindness.
First, I have to say ,I should have known better than to try a planned random act of kindness which was meant to fail.
One day at the supermarket, I was waiting in the check out line with one of my boys. An old man, his arms filled with items from the store, came into the line behind us. Our cart was full and we were already emptying it, ready for the cashier. Seeing this gentleman with only two things in his arms, I thought that I had here my perfect random act of kindness, like Kathleen did. Easy right?
Like a lot of Moms, I am sure that I have a special bond with my kids that makes them understand what I want by a simple move. Except that my kids are not like that. They manage to always surprise me, mostly in a good way. I forgot that and I signaled to my son to let the man proceed to checkout before us. I turned toward the man and told him with my nicest smile that he could go before us. At that moment, my son grabbed the man’s purchase. He thought that my signal “Let the man pass” was “take the man’s items!”
The poor man saw this tall young man reaching for his stuff while a strange woman with a strong foreign accent was jabbering about something he didn’t understand. For a second, he stood petrified, his hands contracted on his packets. I could see in his eyes his uneasiness mixed with some sort of fear. I shouted “Non! Pas ses affaires!” (No, not his stuff!) to my son who stepped back abruptly, scaring more the man who was wondering what we wanted from him. Maybe, he thought that my son was a dangerous teenaged criminal and that I was in charge of him. Maybe, he thought that we wanted to take his things that weren’t his yet. I don’t know. The old man gave me a scared-kitten-ready-to-bite look and clung to his belongings with more intensity.
I didn’t insist, and turned a little confused toward the cashier.
During the long awkward minutes before I paid, we stayed focused on our own cart avoiding looking behind us at the old man who didn’t let go of his groceries until we were done.
When we got into the car, we laughed about this episode, but really, what a strange thing to fail an attempted random act of kindness! It seems so easy for others.
It just shows that a random act of kindness is not what we may think it is.
1- First, we need to talk to someone and offer our help. It’s not as simple as it looks. We have to leave our comfort zone. For that, you have this blog to help you!
2- The person we want to help has to accept our help or we have to accept their refusal. It’s not because we are nice that the others have to be nice too. It’s not because they refuse that they are not nice.
3- Kindness is free and gives nothing back at first. If we are waiting for something in return, we may be disappointed or we may try to do too much. Keep the random side and take only what we are given, the feel good feeling that goes with it.
4- Always keep your sense of humor!
And you? Did you try random acts of kindness? How did it go?