By: Suzanne Maiden
Who knew that he would – or even could – be in a position to help me later? I certainly had no idea. I pulled up to valet parking and greeted the attendant with a smile. I’d seen him several times before. Months ago, after seeing him several times and chatting, I brought him a bottle of good wine with condiments. He seemed genuinely grateful. I forgot all about it until today.
Today, I drove to Emory Hospital for some routine tests. Hurricane Ike’s destruction left those of us in Atlanta a little short on gasoline. Some say if other’s wouldn’t panic, there would be enough for everyone. While others speculate that we don’t have fuel because the refineries actually cannot get it out due to power outages. Regardless of why there was a shortage – I still needed to find some. I knew I had enough gas to get to Emory, but the return trip would be dicey if I didn’t find a gas station that actually had fuel. I would have to drive conservatively – not typically my style. Every station I passed was desserted and had plastic shopping bags over the handle to indicate “No Gas.”
I trusted that somehow, I would get what I needed. Like deja vu, once again, I pulled up to valet park and the same attendant eagerly walked over to me, opened my door and offered assistance. I asked him if he knew of any gas stations that actually had fuel. He shook his head, then thought of one place that may still have some fuel. I asked him if he would take my jeep and fill it up. I placed $50. in his hand, and told him I’d settle with him later. He personally took my vehicle and found fuel. I was so grateful that when I hopped in my jeep on the return trip home, my gas tank was on full.
I had no idea when I gifted him with something minor, he would return the favor when I really needed it. I don’t engage in random acts of kindness because I think that person will owe me something, or for any other personal gain. It reinforces my premise that being kind to every person we meet, regardless of their station in life, is the right thing to do. I try to engage in one random act of kindness per day.
I believe in random acts of kindness to strangers. I believe in ‘paying it forward’ and reaching out to others. I believe good always, eventually, triumphs over evil. I believe people are innately good. Maybe I’m naive – but I prefer it that way. Doing random acts of kindness to others has a boomerang effect. The boomerang seldom returns to the one who initiated the throw, but to another and then another and in this way we help raise planetary consciousness.