Yesterday I remembered that a few weeks ago I’d taken my four year old to one of those pottery places where you can paint an already made ceramic project. So we took a drive to go pick it up. All morning I’d been wondering what sort of random act of kindness I could perform next. Perform – haha – I guess I shouldn’t use a word like that – perform, it’s just so ‘showy’ – I want random acts of kindness to be a part of who I am, not some flamboyant gesture to brag about. That’s part of the reason I’m blogging anonymously. Did I forget to mention that in my first post? Well, yeah, my name isn’t really Heather, but for the sake of this blog, it is now. I don’t know why, but it seems to me that if you go around bragging about all the secret kind things you do, then somehow that takes away from it a bit. As if you’re doing it for the recognition, rather than for the pay it forward effect you’re really hoping for.
But oops, I just digressed!
As my young son and I walked into the shop I looked around. The place was packed! I noticed a mom and her pip-squeak painting some bowls. And it hit me – I could secretly pay for their projects! Tada! That figured out, I leaned in closely to the lady working there and whispered:
“I’m trying to do this whole random acts of kindness thing (so, eloquently worded, right?). ” As I mysteriously and covertly pointed to the mother/child combo working at the table behind us, I continued: “I’d like to secretly pay for their pottery.”
*insert sneaky grin here*
Pottery Lady: “Ohhh, should I go tell them?”
Me: “Um, no, (silent thought to self: wouldn’t that sort of go against the whole idea of ‘secrecy’?? err!). When they come up to pay, then you can tell them that someone wanted to make their day a little brighter and paid for it then. Just please don’t give her my name.”
Pottery Lady: “Ok. But how will I know how much to charge you? Do you have cash?”
Me: (another silent thought to self: She clearly didn’t finish high school.) “Well, you can see what they’re working on, I’m sure you know the prices of the pieces they are painting, just ring it up now, and I’ll pay with my credit card (Who carried cash anymore?!).”
Pottery Lady: “Oh! Yeah, that’ll work.”
Me: (another silent thought: Ya think?!).
Pottery Lady: click, click, click, tap, tap, tap… “Ok, that’ll be $58.25.
Me: And my jaw dropped a little as my eyes got big: “Wow, that’s a pretty expensive random act of kindness. How about if I just pay for the kid’s project instead.”
Pottery Lady: “But how would I do that?”
Me: (silent thought: Holy Hell, this is a smart one I’m dealing with!) “Just ring up the kid’s project and I’ll pay for that. It’s really not that hard.”
Pottery Lady: “Oh! Okay!”
All right, well, crap, that’s done! As my little one and I walked to the car, he was feeling very happy about what we’d done and he excitedly told me that HE want’s to do something nice for someone too!
Hey, Hey, I gotta say, my slight annoyance with the dim pottery lady aside, it felt really good to think about how I’d just brightened someone’s day, all without expecting anything in return. This random acts of kindness thing – I’m really digging it, and to see that my young son is learning how to be kind to others – well, that’s a double, no, wait, a triple bonus!
“Being nice to someone you dislike doesn’t mean you’re a fake. It means you are mature enough to tolerate your dislike towards them.”