Kindness Begets Kindness

I’m still working on my 50-4-50 project, albeit slowly. That’s the one where I am doing 50 Acts of Kindness for other people between my 50th birthday last April and before my next birthday.

During 2 recent Acts of Kindness (#29 and #30 if anyone is counting) re-iterated to me that kindness begets kindness, the reasons for that can be quite different.

I saw a dropped glove and then made an effort to bring it to the attention of the owner.  No big deal, they dropped something, I hadn’t seen exactly who had dropped it so loudly asked in the nearby crowd if someone was missing their glove. A lady came forward to collect her glove and enthusiastically thanked me. I didn’t think much of it. A little later I happened to be back in the same area and witnessed this same woman picking up someone else’s dropped item and running after the person to return it. As the person thanked the lady for returning the item I overheard the lady I had helped earlier say “someone reunited me with my lost item earlier today so I am just paying it forward.” Wow, hours later someone did an act of kindness because I had done an act of kindness for them. I had thought it was no big deal, I hadn’t realised she might still be thinking about it hours later.

The second occurrence was at the grocery store.  A dishevelled woman on the sidewalk/pavement was approaching passers-by asking for some food. I was just about to walk past her as everyone else had when I thought of 50-4-50. I stopped and asked her what she needed. She explained her name was Maria, she had no money and wanted food. So we started walking towards the various local eateries nearby, she was talking about her kids, their names and ages, she walked past the eateries towards the express grocery store. She wanted groceries for her kids she said. Ok, not what I expected but ok. So we did a little shop. She kept loading things into the basket. I did stop her selecting some of the very expensive items and too many “treats”. When I got to the check out I had to purchase bags (they are 5p per bag here and since I hadn’t planned to go shopping I had not brought my own). When the cashier asked if I was buying this for the woman, she leaned towards me and whispered I won’t charge you for all these bags. A small gesture and still very appreciated.

Whether someone does an act of kindness because they received kindness themselves or simply witnessed it in someone else, it nice to know my efforts have a magnified effect.

What can you do to start a string of kindness?