Today I witnessed a random act of kindness and it touched me.
As usual I was rushing from one thing to another and only had time for a quick coffee before my next meeting. When I walked into the coffee shop the only person there was a cranky looking lady who was herself having a coffee. I quickly got my coffee and took a seat away from her, deciding that I was too tired to bother talking to her and I reasoned that she didn’t look open to any conversation.
A few minutes later a young girl came in asking the staff where the bus stop was. She wanted to get back to the University but it was dark and she was not familiar with the city. The more the staff tried to give directions the more confused she seemed to get. Then all of a sudden this “cranky” lady spoke up and softly said “I have some time until my meeting and I will be happy to drive you”.
I’m sure that both people involved never gave me a second thought as I sat drinking my coffee but I’ve thought of that kindness many times.
The coffee shop lady wasn’t “cranky” – she was just tired from a long day at work and filling time in for more work to come. All of a sudden my whole image of her changed from “cranky” to “kind”.
If I had taken the time to sit at the next table and strike up a conversation with her I would have had someone to share my time with. We were both killing a few minutes before a meeting and I think I was the one who missed out on meeting someone new – someone that gave a young lady a random act of kindness is someone that would have been worth meeting.
My lesson learned is that I should be more open to meeting perfect strangers and not be so quick to judge them as “cranky” or “tired”. So to this lady I say thank you for a lesson learned in both being kind and in being open to others.