This year the kids and I have gone on two long distance trips. On both of these trips we have been on the receiving end of random acts of kindness from complete strangers. I always tell my children that when you put kindness and positive energy out in the world that it will be returned to you. I am so grateful for the kindness of these strangers for their selfless generosity and the lessons that they taught my children.
The first random act of kindness occurred while traveling to my mom’s house in Georgia. After 5 hours of driving and 3 more to go we stopped at a roadside restaurant to have dinner.
It was getting dark and the kids were excited to get to their Memaw’s and were all pretty much over the drive. We were seated in a corner (smart hostess!) next to a woman and her daughter. The young girl at the table next to us was in pajamas and I assumed that they were traveling as well. I struck up conversation with the woman and she told me they were at the end of a two-hour drive. I shared the details of our road trip with her. Our food came and one of my kids needed to go to the bathroom so we all went and when we got back I was bummed to see that the woman and her daughter were gone, I wanted to say goodbye!
We enjoyed our meal then asked for the check. Our server informed us that the woman at the table next to us had paid for our meal saying that any mom traveling with three young children deserved to have dinner bought for her. My kids and I couldn’t believe it. Alex said we must have put out a bunch of kindness into the universe! We used the money we would have paid for a meal and left our server, a young college student, a large tip. We left the restaurant feeling much happier than when we went in.
The next random act of kindness happened on our way home from our recent three-week road trip. We were all exhausted and totally over being in the car (we had traveled over 2,000 miles!). We stopped due to the 900th request to go to the bathroom, I may be exaggerating but that is how it felt to me. We stopped at a gas station, let the dog out for a break, went inside to the bathroom, and then I told my kids that they could pick a small treat. My kids were super excited that they were getting to have a treat and were very thankful.
A man came up to me from the corner, handed me something and told me to buy them a special treat for being such grateful kids. He left before I could say anything more than “thank you!”. This kind man had given us $20.
Again we were floored by the generosity from a complete stranger. A few hours later we stopped at another roadside restaurant for lunch and enjoyed excellent service and conversation with our server. Alex asked me if we could pass the kindness on to her and I agreed that it was a great idea! We left her the remaining $17 from the $20 that we had been given earlier by the kind man. I was so pleased that Alex thought about another person’s happiness and wanted to pass the kindness on.
On the rest of the drive home, in between several more potty breaks, we discussed random acts of kindness, gratitude and passing it on. I explained to my children that a random act of kindness does not have to involve money. Kindness comes in many forms: a smile, a compliment, a helping hand, and so many other forms.
I realize that treating my children with kindness has a trickle down effect. My kindness will spread exponentially to the world through my children. This was a very happy mama moment!
Have you and your children been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness from a stranger? Did you pass it on?