Sometimes something will happen so unexpected that the event leaves us in such a state of awe that we are incapable of saying anything more than a simple thank you. We never know the depth of impact it will have on another when we practice random acts of kindness. This is what happened to me on a recent visit to the dollar store…
I was shopping at a local Dollar Tree searching for inexpensive things to use in a classroom. I was specifically looking for items that would provide hands on experiences for toddlers and pre-schoolers. As I entered the toy area there stood a grown man with a couple of friends. This man was holding one of those tubes that when twirled above the head makes a whistling type of sound.
He looked as if he wanted to try the toy but was hesitant maybe because I had walked up or maybe at his age he didn’t think he could get away with it. I don’t know why, BUT I told him to go ahead and do it. I encouraged him to let the little boy in him out and he would feel better if he did, and life is too short to be worrying about what someone else might think.
The gentleman acted on my suggestion, played with the toy and smiled from ear to ear. We both laughed.
Later the same man came up to me and asked if the items in my baskets were for the students I teach. I told him yes and explained how a couple of the items would be used.
The man reached out his hand and said, “Take this.” It was a gift card for the Dollar Tree. “I want to help you with your purchases today.”
Oh my goodness! I was speechless. I was in shock. I was not able to bring together the words to express all the emotions I was feeling.
What a testimony I was given for the goodness of man. Thank you stranger. (And, keep on playing, allowing the little boy in you to have some fun.)
Judith Swingle is from Knoxville,Tn.
Story originally appeared in the Knoxville News-Sentinel.