Random Acts of Kindness
Time to change that.
In 2009, I did a series of blog posts titled "Moving Polaroids" and they all seemed to hit a nerve with people in a good way. Each post was based on a childhood memory.
I've decided to bring those back as a weekly installment. So from now on, each Thursday, there'll be a new Moving Polaroids blog. I invite each of you to share as you will. Not all childhood memories are good. Hell, a large portion of my readers had some fairly rough times as kids. You'll be reading good and bad from me because I know you wouldn't expect any less.
On Mondays, I'll be posting blogs designed to ignite discussion. You tune into see what I'll be writing about, and believe me when I say I'm just as interested to hear your thoughts and opinions. That's the situation of writers and readers; we have a symbiotic relationship and I'm perfectly happy with that.
Coming up on Thursday - the first installment of the ongoing Moving Polaroids.
In the past, I've asked what's the worst thing you've ever seen. The responses varied widely, and I have to say it's a miracle most of you aren't in therapy or in a tower with a rifle by now. Either way, I appreciate the responses.
Today I'm asking from the different perspective. Let's put a positive light on things. In your entire life, what's the biggest act of kindness you've ever witness personally? Some selfless act done for the sole reason of making someone else smile.
I'll tell you mine.
My crew and I were in Florida because John, one of my brothers, was getting married to Becky. Granted, you need to understand, he's not a blood brother. I have three best friends I've know for over twenty years. They're brothers in all ways. I'd lay down in traffic for them, take a bullet, hide the body... you know what I mean. Their names are John, Doug, and Tim. They are all geniuses, retards, rock stars, and morons in their own right.
One of the things I think that has kept us friends this entire time is that we all have our own blends of sarcasm. We are loyal to each other to the letter. We have no problems throwing down if need be, but we all have big hearts - though we reveal it on our own terms.
So, we're all in Florida, having a grand time of things. We ended up going to Universal Studios to hang out and see the evening parade.
To say it was crowded would be an understatement. Everyone gathered there for the parade. The music was jamming, the parade floats started coming by and the crowd was cheering and clapping.
When they started throwing out beads, children ran to the edge of the line to catch them. People were reach and grabbing like it was a bouquet at a redneck wedding.
In these moments, I tend to pause and take a look around at my boys. I watch their faces, their expressions. I take notice of the things going on around us all. I caught Doug's line of sight and noticed him watching an older woman in a wheelchair near the back of the crowd. She had someone behind her wheelchair, helping her. She was smiling a little at the madness of the crowd and I wondered, briefly, what she was thinking about all this.
Doug worked his position toward the front of the crowd a bit. Some other float came by and tossed out a handful of beads. I saw Doug jump to catch one (that's saying a lot, you see, as he's roughly the same height as a yard gnome). Then I saw him fight his way back through the crowd.
He leaned down toward the old woman and she looked up at him. Then I saw him place the bead necklace around her neck. She smiled wide as if they really were jewels he'd given her.
She thanked him, her words lost among the noise of the crowd, and Doug smiled to himself and joined us again. I caught his gaze and gave him a nod. He returned it with that "Yeah, I know I'm the shit." expression that only he can generate properly.
We left not too long after that but the memory has stayed with me for years. I hope it stayed with the old woman too.
I wondered about her more. I'd watched her expression change. I wondered if she was thinking of her life, of another time when she was younger and a love of her life had done something sweet and kind and selfless. Had he made her smile like that?
I hope so. I think so.
I know so.
So, dear readers. Tell me yours. What's the act of kindness that stays with you?
Currently reading: A Boy's Life by Robert McCammon. I've read McCammon before and enjoyed everything, but somehow this book never made it into my hands. It's one of the best things I've ever read and it fills me with inspiration to achieve something so beautiful.
Currently listening to: My usual mish-mash. The Dead Weather (kind of an edgier Black Keys), some Patrick Watson (I heard a track called Tracey's Waters on a skateboarding video and fell in love with it). The new Eminem release Recovery, which I am digging the hell out of.
Currently watching: Saw Splice and enjoyed it. Still thinking about the dangers of cloning and screwing around with DNA.