It’s holiday season and everyone is full of cheer, good will and, well . . . eggnog.
We’re buying each other gifts. Retailers are rejoicing with their own version of the spirit of the season: the door-buster sale. Not that it’s all been candy canes and sugar plum fairies; we’ve already had a crazed pepper spray shopping incident and a couple of tramplings at Walmart . . . and I don’t know when I’ve seen more offensive, even hostile driving. But all-in-all, it’s a wonderful season.
So . . . while you’re picking out just the right tie or bathrobe for someone special, I have a challenge for you:
I double-dog-dare you to also do something ridiculously nice for a stranger and do it anonymously. Want to kick the holiday spirit up a notch? Try dropping a little unexpected niceness on a total stranger’s head! They will be on cloud nine and so will you!
I’ve ‘paid it forward’ like this a few times but my most memorable experience was when I was the recipient of a stranger’s random act of kindness. I was driving North from San Diego into Orange County for a business meeting. I was running a little late so opted to take the toll road that runs through the hills above Laguna Beach and Newport Coast. At the time it cost about $2.50, but when I pulled up to the toll booth, the attendant explained that the person who passed through before me had paid my toll . . . just for the heck of it. Now, you think maybe I had an awesome day? You bet I did! And I bet he or she did, too!
This is coming up tonight because a friend passed on a list of kindness ideas to me. I have no idea who wrote this wonderful list so I can’t give credit; but I wanted to pass it on to you to stir your thinking. Which of these would you do? Or do you have a different plan? Either way, I’d love to hear from you. I keep wondering how many more smiles I’d see if I secretly did something nice for somebody every day . . . and maybe the idea spread!
- Send someone a hand-written note of thanks
- Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger
- Feed someone else’s parking meter
- Put some coins in the vending machine with a note to let the next purchaser know
- Give a compliment about your server to his/her manager
- Send someone a small gift anonymously
- Pay for the drinks on the next table at a cafe
- Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person
- Have a ‘normal’ conversation with a homeless person
- Leave a treat for your mailman in the box
- Send a thank you note to someone who helped you in the past
- Smile a lot
- Leave a generous tip
- Adopt a soldier
- Be a designated driver
- Pay the toll for the driver behind you