Twenty-Six Cents

The first week Schuyler and I moved into our new apartment, I made a trip down to the Family Dollar for garbage bags and cleaning supplies and a new charger.

I was on a cleaning mission, but I was also ecstatic, skipping down the road, eager to turn this little piece of property into our new home.

I was waiting online to pay, and I noticed two young kids waiting online to pay for candy. They had clearly just come from school, as their backpacks were bigger than them.

They stood online politely handing over their dollars, excited about their candy bars.

And then the cashier told them they didn't have enough. They had done the math wrong, and were short twenty six cents.

Oh, they said.

As they started to go put the candy back, my heart broke. It was twenty six cents. TWENTY SIX CENTS! So, not being able to keep my mouth shut, I piped up and told the cashier I'd pay.

She looked at me like I grew a third eye ball - and then said ok. The kids looked at me stunned. Who was this weird lady who was helping us out and giving us money for candy? They're programmed not to trust, and I get that. I was too, at their age. And, if we're being honest here, I don't think that's changed much as an adult. 

I simply said - here's to random acts of kindness.

They went along their way, and the cashier and I proceeded to talk about FitBits. 

I think about that day quite a bit lately.

It made me so sad that a random act of kindness was so startling - for both the kids and adults. 

We are so fearful and weary of one another lately, that I often wonder if we're becoming numb to the kindness and goodness that surrounds us all.

That goodness and kindness is there - I promise you that. Sometimes you just have to look for it. Sometimes you just have to remember to open your heart and mind to it. Sometimes, you have to be the one to take the first step.

Sometimes, you have to shell out twenty six cents.

Perhaps those kids won't remember that day, and perhaps they will.

I don't really know, and honestly, it wasn't about them remembering.

It was just an impulse, a brief moment where I saw the opportunity to help some kids, and infuse a little bit of kindness back into this crazy world.

Perhaps if we all seized those moments, fear and weariness found in so many hearts will start to be overshadowed by joy.