Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My road of good intentions...

Over the weekend, my husband and I took The Incredible Hulk with us to our local outlet mall to get him some clothes (because in true TIH fashion, nothing fits him from last year and it is steadily getting colder out here.)  As my husband predicted, we were able to walk into a store and stand in it for about 5 milliseconds before he began to wreak havoc and needed to be taken out to play on those coin-operated riding toys.  After purchasing a few things for TIH (and shopping around for mommy, of course), I went to find TIH happily entertained by sitting in a boat with a dragon.  (Those things are so trippy.)  A woman was there with her two adorable boys, shaking her head at the change machine.

"Don't put your money in that.  It ate my dollar," she said pointing at the offending machine.

I frowned sympathetically saying, "I hate when that happens."

She said, "It'd be fine usually, except that I already gave one boy his ride and now the other one is wondering when he gets to do his."

I have to be honest.  I didn't even think about it.  I just pulled out my wallet.  Fished out two quarters (When did they go up from 25 cents?) and handed them to her.

"Take these.  It'll make your afternoon go so much more smoothly."  She protested and would not take the money, but I insisted saying, "Seriously. Take it.  It makes me feel good to help."

Soon after, we left with TIH by bribing him with getting a vanilla milk at Starbucks.

We went to Starbucks and made our orders which included TIH's vanilla milk, coffees for us, an ice water, and a chocolate chip cookie.  When the barista rung us up, he said our total was $3.58.

My husband and I both gave him a puzzled look and said, "That can't be right.  Did you get all of the other things we ordered?"  The barista waved his hand dismissively and said, "Don't worry about it.  That's on me."

Bewildered, we collected our drinks (all of which had a nice little ego boost printed on them by another barista, also named "Amanda") and walked towards the crowded parking lot.  We were almost to our car when I stopped dead in my tracks and realized, I had been paid back for my good deed.

I was brought up with an appreciation of doing good things for others.  I know that there is a theory that no good deed is completely unselfish (and this one wasn't any different, it truly did make ME feel good to give this woman those quarters), but I honestly don't do nice things for other people just because I want to get something out of it.  I say this because I was also taught that the good that we put out into the world will come back to us tenfold.  (And, if you've ever bought two Venti drinks at Starbucks, you know that in this case it actually came back to me a lot more than tenfold.)  But, in spite of that, I relish in these opportunities that present themselves like, Here.  Make that person's day.

Sometimes with all the sadness and hatred and pain that I see in the world (the recent events in Kenya comes to mind, for example), I know it has to be nice for someone to have a little sunshine brought back into their life.

I guess it's because I can't help but wonder that if we put just a little bit more sunshine out into the world, maybe eventually there will be nothing left to hate.

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