This last month has been a bit challenging for me. Despite my love for Autumn, I’ve felt a bit discouraged. Having relocated, I find it challenging living in a city that’s far away from friends and family. Between work and adjusting to a new area, the feelings of loneliness and insignificance have begun to sink in.
Does anyone know I exist? Do I even make a difference anymore? As of late, these thoughts have set up a permanent residence in my mind. I’m surrounded by people in fashionable autumn attire, carrying hot lattes, while I exist in a muddy rut.
Last week, in particular, was one in which I spent most of my days wallowing in self-pity. Despite the beautiful fall colors, I still wasn’t in my usual happy, seasonal mindset. Maybe a Starbucks holiday drink would lift my Scrooge spirit. Grabbing a warm jacket, I left for Starbucks to melt away my blustery blues. I went through the drive-thru to avoid people and ordered a hot latte. When I drove up to pay, I received these words:
“The gentleman in front of you paid for your drink already. Have a wonderful day!” Shocked, I secured my drink and thanked the barista. I drove home with the biggest smile on my face. Someone I didn’t even know paid for my drink; my entire attitude changed because of a stranger’s small act of kindness. It wasn’t just a free drink; it was a kind thought turned into meaningful action.
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” When I first stumbled upon this, I read it over several times. It’s simple but influential in the most effective way. How many times have I dreamt up grand intentions, only to move on without ever completing? A LOT, unfortunately. I am guilty of this, as are many of us. However, this is not to say that our intentions are poor. It’s easy to be preoccupied with work, family, and social life. We could have the best intentions, but when life distracts us with self, we often forget about those around us.
Small acts of kindness are needed in a world full of pain and uncertainty. An encouraging note, a kind word, or paying for someone’s groceries is an excellent place to start. Our gestures don’t have to be luxurious; a simple act of thoughtfulness goes a long way. Although I was unable to thank the generous stranger, I look forward to repaying such kindness.
Madeleine Lowe writes from Indiana.© 2017 - 2021 When People Are Kind. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.