Grassroots Commentary

Random Act of Kindness Brings Tears

Albert Maslar · Jun. 7, 2013

Most people have heard and spoken of random acts of kindness, but it takes on a whole new meaning when being a recipient of an unasked-for act of kindness bestowed by a stranger.

Thursday, June 6th, I went food shopping at my local store for my usual limited number of items at a time, so as to get through the speedy checkout line. I am one of the infamous 47% and besides not paying income taxes, am the beneficiary of the Food Stamp program which recharges the card about the third of each month.

My total June 6th purchase came to about $36 but my card was denied. I explained to my cashier that I would cancel the entire order and just take two items I planned for dinner that night, a small ham butt and a small head of cabbage.

I explained that the cash required for the purchase was not in my budget. What I meant was that I was certain the problem would be cleared up when I got home. What I meant was that since Social Security is my only income, I did not want to use my credit card as I budget carefully, and I usually have available funds on my food stamp card at the end of any given month.

The cashier recognized the problem as not having sufficient cash, and promptly called a supervisor to monitor her station while she left her station, only to return a few minutes later with folded bills in hand she offered to me, a stranger she did not know, or have any obligation to, though she recognized me as a frequent customer.

I was flabbergasted but did not feel embarrassment as I could not believe that the cashier, not asking questions, or getting my ID, or a promise to repay, would simply give me this money to complete my full purchase.

Even later, the thought of this incident brings me to tears, that there are such good people who do unasked-for good deeds, unasked-for random acts of kindness, while under the radar, and outside public visibility and recognition. This gift is a true act of compassionate giving that the Bible defines in Matthew 6:3-4 – “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Congratulations for the friendliness and willingness of the store’s employees to help, and who always seem to be at their best in helping and happily serving the customers. There still are gems among the sand and pebbles but sometimes the gems are overlooked while we too often, especially myself, complain about the discomfort of a bit of sand in the shoe of life.

God Bless the cashier who lived this Bible passage to the fullest and is certainly humbling to me and others like me, who too often are oblivious to the needs of those around us while our only concern is ourselves. Her compassion is a shining example of what we can all be to make the world a better place.

It's Right. It's Free.