Spring in Central Park
New York

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.

Amelia Earhart

Although, I grew up in a small town where everyone knew and spoke to everyone, most of my adult life has been spent living in a large metropolitan area. The first big city I lived in was Milwaukee. I would speak to people I didn’t know and they would eye me suspiciously, wondering what my ulterior motive was. Why was I talking to them? What did I want? I soon found it was better not to attempt to chat with people I didn’t know. After over 40 years working with the public, I became more discerning about who and who not to talk with. Many times an act of kindness to a stranger is welcome and appreciated.

 Yesterday, I was in line at the grocery store when the elderly lady in front of me insisted I didn’t have many groceries and should go ahead of her. At first, I explained to her that I really wasn’t in a hurry and I was happy to wait. Honestly, it occurred to me she seemed to have fewer groceries than I did. After a minute it became clear to me that it was important to her to let me go first and I did. One of the things I bought that day was two bunches of daffodils for the house. After I paid for my groceries, I gave her one of the bouquets of flowers and thanked her for letting me go ahead of her. She seemed surprised and pleased.

On Valentines Day, when I stopped to get coffee at my usual spot, before going to work at my volunteer job at the library, one of the girls who worked there handed me a Valentine card with a personal message inside. It made me feel good. When I walked into the library, it occurred to me to pass the feeling on and I gave the security guard a piece of Valentine candy.

You don’t have to know someone to make their day a little better with a small gesture. It could make all the difference for them. If nothing else, it will make you feel good.

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