Yesterday I witnessed something extraordinary. It was one of those simple, unplanned moments that touched my heart. Let me tell you what happened. I was at work. Currently I help manage a small distribution center at the Dallas LDS Temple. It was an incredibly busy day and it seemed that we had an endless flow of customers coming in and there were only two of us working. So needless to say I was helping one customer after the next, doing my best to give good customer service, but also to do it quickly so that we could get everyone served in a timely fashion.
Anyway, I was helping one woman and I had just swiped her credit card and handed it back to her. I couldn't really tell you much about this woman. She was very kind and quiet and honestly, if I had to pick her out of a crowd I don't think I could. She was just another person I was able to help that day. As I handed her receipt to her she reached out and handed me $40 cash.
For a moment I was totally confused, until she leaned in close, and quietly, so no one else could hear, said to me "Please make sure this money pays for whatever that family purchases." Before I knew what else to do I said, "Sure thing." And she said, "Thank you," and took her bags and quietly walked out of the store.
I looked over to see a family that was being helped at the other register. It was a mom with a few of her kids and it was obvious that they didn't have a lot of money. The woman working with me, Stacy, walked over to my side to grab something and I handed her the money and told her what the woman had told me. She took the money and I went on serving the next customer.
Out of the corner of my eye I watched as Stacy told the mom that someone had left $40 for them to pay for their stuff. The mom looked around, wondering who in the world would do something like that for her. No one else in the store even knew what was going on and the woman that had left the money was long gone. That mom would never know who it was that left that money for her. I got a little choked up as I witnessed such an incredible act of kindness.
I'm pretty sure the woman that left the money had no idea who that family was. All she knew was that they didn't have a lot and she could do something to help relieve some sort of burden. The woman had handed me that money and did it so naturally that I really think that this isn't the first time she did something like that. I began to wonder if she goes around doing kind things like that and not asking for any sort of pat on the back or recognition for what she does. Perhaps she just finds simple joy in knowing that she did something kind for someone else. She saw someone that was struggling and helped to at least ease their burden, if only for a moment.
Ever since that incident I've been thinking a lot about kindness. I've been thinking about that woman and I wish I could find her and thank her for allowing me to witness something so special. I'm thankful I got to see it because it softened my heart and got me thinking a lot about what sorts of things I could do to show kindness for my fellow human beings.
I think that all over the world there are many kind acts that are acted out every minute, even every second. The world is full of angels, like the woman I met yesterday, that only seek to make the world a better place. You won't witness their kind acts on the news and they won't be recognized and given awards for what they do.
In fact, many of them will live out their lives, having done something kind for hundreds, even thousands of people, and not one of those people will have had the chance to say thank you to the kind angel that walked into their lives and quietly did something so extraordinary for them. But that's not why the angel did it. Not to be thanked. Only to be kind. Because this life is about love and about being kind. I want to be a kindness angel. Anyone want to join me?