I just read about a young man who stepped up to cover grocery costs for a young mother who suddenly realized, after waiting in line, that her debit card was on security hold and her credit card was maxed out. While she nervously struggled with a fussy infant, he volunteered to pay the tab.
Then he quietly disappeared.
When the woman made an effort a day later to track him down and give him the 'Thanks' he deserved, she contacted his employer. Tragically, she was told, he had been killed in a freak automobile accident just hours after her encounter.
The young Mother later learned from his family, what a gracious, loving and engaged person he was. How he often stopped to help, to offer support or food to those in need. He just had an innate drive to 'pay it forward,' so their hearts were broken.
What makes this story so compelling is not that the young Mother wasn't able to say Thanks, it is that the act of Giving is so shocking and unusual. The fact that what the young man did stands out as an anomaly, a freak occurrence. A baffling act of generosity that is hard for us to fathom.
If Random Ccts of Kindness occurred regularly, the young man's sudden and tragic death would in no way be any less shocking, but the energy and sense of humanity that he so generously spread would be pulsing through the veins of our culture like oxygen. Actions such as his are often infectious. The whole cycle of Giving tends to grow exponentially.
What a great way to be remembered….his short life made our Planet a better place.
On this day of offering Thanks to God, to Family and Friends, to Good Health and Happiness, to World Peace and Prosperity, make time for a Random Act of Introspection. This story of a simple humanitarian gesture has exposed a need for our increasingly coarse pop culture to step back, look in the mirror and ask ourselves 'who are we and is this the best we can be?'
As we sit down together on this Thanksgiving Day, maybe it's time to double down on the 'Giving' part.