In Search of Random Acts of Kindness #HAWMC

randomactsToday’s writing prompt for Wego Health‘s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge is to recount a random act of kindness, either done for you or by you. At first I was stumped. I couldn’t remember any situation where I was on the giving or receiving end of a random act of kindness.

Then it hit me. It doesn’t have to be a flash mob surprising me, or a chain of cars at Dunkin’ Donuts all “paying it forward”. Random acts of kindness are all around us. It can be a gesture as small as leaving the toilet seat down.

Or it can be something huge, like how the nurse in the emergency holds your hand and says everything will be okay.

Kindness is not an elusive thing to be chased like a monarch butterfly. Quit running after it and open your eyes–it’s all around us.

From the cashier who picks a penny out of the cup instead of giving you 99 cents in change to the person who holds the elevator door, as we interact with other human beings, I think it’s in our nature to be kind.

Back before Christmas I decided to build my own computer from scratch. I bought a lot of the components through Amazon. One of the parts, a card reader, wasn’t compatible with my motherboard, so I had to send it back. But when Amazon got it, instead of crediting my account $42, they gave me over $100 and marked the motherboard as having been returned.

I called customer service and got a young man named Rob who very graciously helped me. As we talked, he listened to me explain my reason for the call. When I was done there was a pause. Rob didn’t say a word for a second or two. Then he admitted he was kind of surprised. 

“Most people would keep the refund and not point out the error,” he said.

“I believe in karma,” I explained. “If I keep what I’m not entitled to, this is going to come back to bite me.”

Rob was really happy to help me and couldn’t get over how a call from someone who insisted on giving money back to Amazon might end up being his favorite call ever. By the end of our conversation, we were sharing funny stories and comparing the differences between our geographic locations. We’d become friends and we were hesitant to hang up. I wished him a good life.

There was no random act of kindness in what should have been a mundane exchange. We were two human beings who connected for a brief time and shared a laugh. It was the best customer service experience I’ve ever had, and likewise he said he’d never forget our call.

Sure, I was $60 down, but my heart was happy. Rob and I were half a world apart, sharing kindness–randomly.

Simply that and nothing more.