Kindness: The Greatest Of Gifts

The most AMAZING thing just happened…

Actually it didn’t just happen. It happened last Tuesday. But the words you are about to read were written on Tuesday directly after said ‘amazing’ event had occured…
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Wow! Something amazing just happened. Something truly special that has left me so completely overwhelmed with gratitude. I don’t even know where to begin in explaining it because I’m too consumed with feelings of pure joy and appreciation right now. My heart has been warmed by the kindness and generosity of a complete stranger.

Let me set the scene…

On the way home from the gym, knowing full well that my pantry and fridge were completely empty of food, I decided to drop by Coles to pick up a few items so that I could feed myself. After scouring the shelves for the cheapest priced free-range eggs, an almost expired (and therefore reduced) bag of spinach, some nuts and a reduced pack of beef mince, I approached the checkout with my sad-looking items.

Just as the checkout chick gave me a friendly hello and began scanning my items, I realised I had left my wallet at home. *facepalm* – what an idiot. Somewhat embarrassed, but mostly frustrated, I apologized shyly, offered to put everything back and timidly walked away.

As I headed for the exit empty-handed I overheard a male staff member say “that’s embarrassing.” I turned around and said “I know. I literally have nothing to eat at home too”, then continued walking out.

On the journey back to my car, my head was consumed with thoughts of ‘what the hell am I going to eat for breakfast now?’, ‘maybe I still have 1 can of tuna left? Oh wait, I ate that for dinner last night’, ‘I think I still have a can of chickpeas though and maybe some tinned tomatoes – what can I masterchef out of that?’.

Distracted by my own thoughts and the sound of my rumbling tummy, I had almost made it to my car when suddenly someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was that male staff member. The one who made the ‘that’s embarrassing’ comment. He was puffing, he had run after me. He then said to me ‘I want you to come back. I want to buy that for you.’

Say what?! I was completely taken aback. He wasn’t serious was he? Surely this was a joke. No, he meant it. He ran all through the shopping centre to find me. He really did want to buy my groceries for me.

I flat out refused his offer at first. I said ‘no’ about 5 or 6 times, maybe more, but he (Corey) wouldn’t take no for an answer and absolutely insisted I come back to the store with him.

It was in this moment of battling against each other (me saying no, him saying yes) that I had a flashback to a conversation I had with my grandmother just a few days ago about accepting help. I struggle massively with the concept of receiving help from people (but that’s a whole other blog post for another day!!!) and my grandma was telling me that sometimes it’s ok to accept peoples help – that they wouldn’t offer it if they didn’t want to help.

She was right and this moment was my opportunity to put my grandmothers advice into practice and actually accept someone’s help for once. To swallow up my pride and graciously give in to a kind offer that, to be completely honest, I really did need.

So I walked back to the store with him, unable to keep the smile off my face, thanking him every step of the way and wondering how on earth I could repay him for this. Corey paid for my food, put the bags in my hand, said ‘there you go’ and walked off. That was it.

Half am hour later, sitting at home, I am still perplexed (and still smiling like a goofball) as to why he did this absolutely wonderful thing for me… What on earth compelled him to give so graciously to someone he doesn’t even know?

Maybe he felt bad because I overheard him say ‘that’s embarrassing’ as I was leaving.

Maybe he saw me and thought ‘that chick is wasting away, she can’t leave without her food’ (lol jokes that is definitely not a possibility).

Maybe he noticed my financial hardship when he saw the items I was buying (or attempting to buy) were all the nearly-expired reduced products.

Maybe it was part of a workplace challenge or incentive they have going at the moment.

Maybe he thought I was cute (haha just kidding again) or maybe he just felt compelled to do something nice for a complete stranger.

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Whatever his reason, honestly, it doesn’t even matter. I don’t need to know why he decided to do what he did, it is simply the fact he did it, which matters. It was the nicest, most genuine act of kindness and one of the most selfless things anyone has ever done for me. I was (and still am) so thankful and appreciative for what he did that I couldn’t stop smiling from the moment I left the store with the two plastic bags in my hands to the moment I got home. In fact I’m still smiling now. As I was driving in my car, I become so overwhelmed with gratitude that I actually started to cry. As I write this, tears are welling up again.

I am so unbelievably grateful!!!

He probably doesn’t even realise how much this meant to me. Maybe $32 of groceries was nothing to him, maybe it actually was a lot. Who knows? But for me, $32 of groceries meant the world. Not simply because of the monetary value (yes that meant a lot too because $32 is equivalent to 1/3 of all the money I have to my name right now) but mainly because it has restored my belief in humanity, in people and that genuine kindness still exists in this society.

Interestingly, this all occurred the day after I had my own little ‘random act of kindness moment’ at work which I posted about on the One Active Life Facebook and Instagram pages. I had felt compelled to pay a customer a compliment, which she said made her day. Perhaps Corey’s act of kindness to me was like universe rewarding me for making someone else’s day the day before…

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Even almost a week since this ‘amazing thing’ happened, I am still overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude towards Corey. I still get teary (in a happy, I’m so unbelievably moved and thankful kind of way) just thinking about it. Although I’m sure he didn’t buy my groceries with any expectations of recieving something in return, I at the very least wanted him to know how truly thankful I was – and still am. The sweaty, smelly post gym hug I have him after he handed me my bags of food wasn’t quite enough.. so I wrote him a card telling him how much I appreciated his actions and also went online to give him some personal customer service feedback. It really was the least I could do.

Random acts of kindness are far and few between these days. This act of pure, genuine, heart-warming and selfless kindness will never be forgotten.

Love Elo xx

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