Investing

Opinion: Investing in kindness brings its own reward

Random acts of kindness aren’t new, but they are always timely. Reading stories of these acts reminds us to pass on kindness and to acknowledge and note kindness in those around us.

I wasn’t planning in sharing this story publicly, until I read a moving post on LinkedIn. The post was about a woman going through a fast-food drive-through who saw a young employee in tears because her manager was sending her home because her face mask broke and she didn’t have a spare.

The poster said they grabbed a box of masks from her car and passed them through the window to the young employee, who needed the money from the shift to cover her bills. It was a nice story, and I was happy to read it.

And that’s what made me want to share this one.

A couple of weeks ago, I was at Costco with my daughter picking up some groceries on a Friday night. As we were putting them in our minivan, a woman was placing items in her car. She called out to a Costco staff member collecting carts to come help her.

That is what drew my attention. She was asking the employee for some assistance on how she could fit a large carpet into her small car.

I looked over and thought to myself: “It’s never going to fit.”

I was brought back to a moment in my life when I tried to fit an area rug in a small car. It wasn’t easy. So I offered to help.

I asked her if she lived near the store and offered to drive it to her home for her. She was shocked and relieved, but replied: “I live in downtown Victoria.”

It was 20 minutes away and no big deal, so we offered to drive the carpet. She gave me her address and we followed her to her building.

As I drove behind her on Douglas Street, I noticed that she has a smashed tail light. I didn’t think much of it at the time.

When we got her to her building, she told me that she was a nurse. She also mentioned she had had a very horrible day and that she’d smashed in her light earlier in the day. I don’t remember everything she had said, but from what I remember, it was a long list of things that had gone wrong that day.

She said “thank you” several times and asked my address so she could return the favour. I accepted her appreciation, but let her know that she didn’t need to do anything for us, and we drove off.

When I offered to drive the carpet for her, I saw a situation where I could assist. I never thought about anything else. I didn’t know she was having a bad day, and I was grateful that taking a detour before heading home had made her day better.

It was about a week or later that I received a message from a friend stating she needed to talk to me. She told me a woman had posted about someone driving a carpet home for them from Costco on a local Facebook page and wanted to connect with the driver.

I told my friend they could pass on my number, but I mentioned that it really wasn’t a big deal, and the woman didn’t need to provide anything further as we were happy to help.

My friend wrote me back and said that clearly this person wanted to do something nice for me and the least I could do was accept it.

She was right. So often we are told to not accept these kinds of gestures, but I think we need to celebrate and share stories of not only giving kindness, but receiving it, too.

I ended up joining the Facebook group so I could see the post, and it was through the post that I learned that before I offered to drive the carpet for the woman, she was about to bring it back into the store and return it.

This was a good reminder to me that we never know what people are going through, and what seems like a small act can have a big impact on someone else. It’s a small investment that garners a big return.

charla@makola.bc.ca

Charla Huber is the director of communications and Indigenous relations for M’akola Housing Society.

This article was originally published on PrinceGeorgeMatters.com

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