Yesterday I had a customer who came in for a quiet afternoon break. She sat down and had a relaxing glass of lavender lemonade and scones. While she was here, another regular customer, a young college student named Angela came in for one of her own quiet afternoon tea brakes. The two sat at tables across the tea room from each other, each quietly enjoying their goodies and respite from the hectic outside world.
The first customer had finished and came to the register to pay with a sort of pleading look on her face. After she'd paid her bill, she handed me a piece of paper upon which she had written, "Random Acts of Kindness--I have $20. Please use that to pay for your other customer's bill." I smiled and rang up the 2nd bill, and she indicated for me to keep the change. She smiled and thanked me for providing such a wonderfully relaxing place and said she'd be back again another day.
After she'd left, I took the paper over to Angela and handed it to her. She read it and smiled broadly. She looked up at me and asked who the other lady was. I said I didn't know her name, I think this was the first time she'd been to the tea room. Angela expressed disappointment that she didn't have a chance to thank the woman for her kindness. I explained that the whole idea behind random acts of kindness was that one just did them for the pure sake of being kind to another--that thanks were neither expected nor needed.
Many times the world seems hectic, harried, and even cruel. But sometimes it is kind and gentle as on this particular summer afternoon. When I have long forgotten the regular stresses of daily life, I will still remember this gentle day and the sweet surprises it revealed.