I really like, probably more like love, random acts of kindness.
There isn’t one random act of kindness that sticks out in my head in particular but I do have a few favorites.
One in particular was when I had first started traveling on my own with my wheelchair. I was traveling to my cousin’s wedding in Missouri from Washington State. Looking back on the trip years later I’m still surprised I was able to pull it off without a single hiccup. It was truly one of those few times when being young and dumb helped more than you can give credit for.
I couldn’t get a direct flight to Missouri so I had to stop in Denver there and then again to get back to Washington. I wasn’t happy about it but I really wanted to go to the wedding. Further complicating matters I didn’t have a computer in the house I was living in nor did I have time to make travel plans during my work day, so I had to enlist my dad’s help with all of it.
He booked me on the cheapest flight he could find on some airline I had never heard of, and I wasn’t just going to one place I had never been to but two. Then the airline went bankrupt so I called the airline to ask about my upcoming trip. My flight was still going to take off. I was going to be on that plane.
I asked for assistance getting to my next flight since I had never been to Denver before and I wanted to make sure I got to my next flight so I sat there and waited for someone to come. Gate assistants called for an assistant to come escort me to my next gate and waited with me. We were waiting so long that the pilot and first officer waited with us too. Eventually the pilot told me he would take me to my next gate.
Along the way we struck up a conversation about the future of the airline and the nature of my travel. When I arrived at my next gate he went to the desk and checked on my next flight. Then he told the gate assistants who I was, where I was, where I was going, and to please make sure assistance would be available to me once I arrived in St. Louis.
I thanked him (probably profusely) and said I hoped we’d see each other again someday (yes, I did say that).
I ended up spending less than 24 hours in Missouri. In fact I had the same pilot, first officer, and flight crew on my flight back to Denver. I had hoped that my flight back to Washington would be the same, but it wasn’t meant to be.
I really like to be on the receiving end of random acts of kindness in situations that usually inspire countless horror stories. It gives me hope for humanity, at least eventually.
As far as being on the giving end of random acts of kindness I like to do my own thing. As in I’m not the biggest fan of the office birthday or get well card (whether giving or receiving). I think they are a good idea, but they just aren’t my “kindness language,” especially if I’m close to the person and/or I find something that I think they’ll really enjoy. That kind of thing makes me happy.
I’m taking part in The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge this month (also known as #HAWMC).