Själ (Soul)

Chicken Nuggets, Baking Soda, & Generosity

She was maybe 10 years old, rocking blue streaks in her pixie haircut, sitting next to me in the waiting room at the eye doctor’s office. 

“Can she walk? I’ll make sure she doesn’t fall,” the little girl asked while holding out her arms, waiting to steady my wobbly baby standing by my feet. 

For the next 10 minutes or so, this wonderful little girl entertained my baby with peek-a- boo games, toys, animated conversation, and pointing at pictures in magazines (“Look at the chicken nuggets!!” She exclaimed). My daughter, who was a little cranky after a long wait time, loved the attention. I was impressed by the girl’s effort to make my daughter happy when she could have easily been reading or playing a game on a tablet or phone to pass the time. But instead, whether she realized it or not, she made someone else’s day a little brighter; I hope my daughter grows up to be as kind as this little girl was.  

*****

As her arms get longer and she gets better at picking things up, my daughter loves to turn around in her cart seat and reach for items in the grocery cart. She picks an item up, turns it over a few times to inspect it, and then drops it next to her, already on to the next item. I usually glance through her seat and make sure I’ve put all of “her” items on the conveyor belt at the check out line. But one day, after the cashier handed me my receipt, I glanced down and realized that my daughter was about to leave the store with a box of baking soda that hadn’t been paid for. I told the cashier, who had already started  ringing up the next person’s order. 

“Well, do you still want it?” The cashier asked. Normally I would say “no thanks”; I wouldn’t endure the hassle of getting back in line just to pay for baking soda, but I needed it. Ugghhhhh…. I thought. Before I could say yes, the woman behind me cut in:

“Just put it on mine,” she said with a smile. 

I was surprised, thanked her, and handed the paid-for box back to my Baking Soda Bandit. It may have been a small gesture, but the woman’s generosity meant a lot to me. Whether she realized it or not, she made someone else’s day a little brighter; I hope my daughter grows up to be as kind as this woman was. 

*****

This year, I’ve been thinking about doing something a little different as part of celebrating my birthday. Why not use our birthday months to make someone else’s day a little brighter?

So here’s 10 simple ways to do that. Would you join me in completing this list during your birthday month, or make a list of your own and complete it? You never know how one small act of kindness can change someone’s day for the better!

1- Tip generously if you dine out during your birthday week or month

2- Bring bagels or donuts to your place of work, your child’s teacher, or your moms’ group

3- Offer to babysit a friend’s kids

4- Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line

5- Send a card of encouragement to a friend

6- Clean out and/or wash someone’s car for them

7- Call a family member to say hi and catch up

8- Leave a “thank you” card and a sweet treat in your mailbox for your local mail carrier

9- Donate to your favorite charity or cause

10- Offer to help a friend with their household tasks

 

What other items would you add to the list? Please share below!

 

 

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