Was it Oprah who brought 'random acts of kindness' to the world's attention? I rarely ever watch her, but it seems like I remember kind of a hoopla about it a few years back. Or maybe it was on 'paying it forward'. Whatever. All I know is I find it hard to realize there are people out there who aren't kind to those around them when the opportunity arises. Maybe it comes from being raised by parents who were very generous to the 'underdog'. They were almost pioneers in Foster Care in Washington State back in the 1950s. We had so many children pass thru our home while I was growing up I lost count. If an extra child in the neighborhood showed up at dinner time, an extra plate was put on the table. No questions asked. What was ours was everyone's.
I don't really look for opportunities to be kind. Not on a daily basis. Basic human kindness...opening doors for someone laden down with packages or kids, giving a bus seat to someone elderly or in more need of it than I am...is something I've always done without even thinking about it. It's part of my nature, part of my upbringing. But every now and then it seems like these opportunities crop up in the strangest ways.
The other day Dylan, Coopy, and I had taken a long walk with the double stroller. We went to the library, then went to a store to pick up a couple of items we needed. As we went thru the checkout, the young lady who waited on us looked over the counter at our double stroller and asked me what kind it was and where I'd bought it. I told her it belonged to my daughter-in-law and son and they'd given it to me to use so I had no idea how much it cost but I was pretty sure they'd bought it at Walmart. It's a nice stroller, tho, so I don't think it was very cheap. She kind of wilted back over to her side of the counter, shoulders slumping, and said a very disappointed, "Ohhhhhhhh." I asked her, "Do you need one?" She looked all of about 18 or 19 years old. She said she didn't need one so much but she was looking around for one that her mom could use. Her mother is taking care of her little baby, as well as a 3-year-old nephew, and one would be really handy for her. Now, that struck a chord in my heart...another stay-at-home Grandma! The wheels in my brain started spinning.
I knew of someone who was getting rid of a double stroller, a friend of my daughter-in-law's. I called Erika when I got home to see if she still had it. She did. She brought it over to my house and I paid her $10 for it. It's a great double-stroller, a Sit and Ride, I think it's called. In excellent shape. SCORE!
This morning I put that stroller in the back of my pick up. I drove to the store, went inside, and asked if Tanna was working today. The girl I spoke to said, "Not right now, but she'll be here later. Can I help you?" I told her I'd had a conversation with Tanna the other day and she'd told me about needing a double stroller. I told the young lady I had one out in my truck...did she have room somewhere to store it until Tanna came to work? "Oh, sure! Bring it in and we'll put it behind the counter here!" So I did. When the girl asked me, "Do you want me to tell her who gave it to her?" I just smiled and said, "Tell her it was the silver-haired Grandma who was in here the other day." And I turned and I left.
I was raised being admonished "It's more blessed to give than to receive."