Jay Cronley: Kind act turns bad day into good one
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
2/12/13 at 5:22 AM
A woman was having a lousy day, and it showed on her face as she sat in a drive-through line for coffee.
Lots had gone wrong at work, where showing your emotions can sometimes only make it worse.
The drive-through line for coffee was slow. That left more time to think about what had gone wrong. What would be required to even partially fix matters? And what could go wrong the rest of the week, or month - what could run afoul for possibly even the rest of the winter, the way unlucky things ran in cycles.
When the woman finally got to her coffee order, the person in the window said payment was not required.
The driver said, "Free coffee? Why?"
The worker running the window said the person in the car that had been in front of her had paid for the coffee. As a gift. No names. No messages. Just a simple act of kindness committed for the sake of making somebody feel better.
And it worked.
Although it did make a person wonder how upset you must have been if somebody in another car could notice your rotten mood.
The woman took her gift coffee and went looking for somebody with whom to share her good afternoon. She said she has been a happier person ever since.
Spreading cheer: I heard of this by email and told a friend, who was so motivated by untapped good mood potential that, over the weekend, she bought a grocery worker an orchid.
Not a big orchid. Not a wildly colored orchid. But orchids are orchids - even the simplest and least expensive flower of this type is special.
The friend had bought herself a white orchid speckled with red.
The worker thought it was so pretty.
So she got one too.
Because it was the best thing for the moment.
Pretty soon, everybody was hugging and was in the best mood possible.
Giving a little something is often done to the faceless. Does the money you give really go to somebody like the picture of a child smiling on the letterhead?
Being kind to somebody in person is apt to be contagious.
It also says something about where some of us are when an improvised act of kindness comes as such a surprise.
Original Print Headline: Kind act turns bad day into good one