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27 Random Acts of Kindness

Just when the evening news has us beginning to believe the world is just a dark and scary place—that love and human kindness are in short supply—someone does something to remind you that this is not entirely true. My family just received one of those reminders.

This is what happened to us this past weekend on Saturday, June 15th, 2013. My wonderful wife and our darling 4½-year-old daughter had taken me to an early Father’s Day lunch. As we finished our meal the waiter approached with our bill saying, “It’s been paid in full.”

He pointed to an empty booth just a few feet away from our table, and said the people who had been sitting there had paid our bill. They also asked the waiter to tell us to read the back of the receipt. I took the following photos of the back and front so you may read it, too:

27 Random Acts of Kindness - Our bill was paid in full to remember dead friend

Random Act of Kindness—One year ago today one of my best friends passed away. Tomorrow would have been his 27th birthday. In his memory we are doing 27 acts of random Kindness. Please be blessed and love on your loved ones. One day they will be gone.

I hope they won’t mind my sharing this with you. I’m confident their friend would be very happy with the lovely way they are remembering him. My family and I had been so engaged with each other, eating and talking, that we didn’t notice who was at the booth next to us.

But I think that’s really the point, isn’t it? The gift they gave us in their friend’s memory was intended to be both random and anonymous. And I also think the gift was much more than simply the purchase of our meal. The biggest gift was this reminder:

Please be blessed and love on your loved ones. One day they will be gone.

Don’t let anything distract you from showing your loved ones how you feel about them. Turn off the TV some of the time. Stop Instagramming all of your meals. Stop checking email and Facebook every few minutes. And do what the note said, “Love on your loved ones.”

One day they will be gone.

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  1. Mary Kathryn Johnson

    What a wonderful gift, Michael. Random, anonymous kindness is the most appreciated.

    My dear friend, her husband and two daughters were in an auto accident 10 months ago. Her husband’s hip was broken in seven places, and he is only now able to walk occasionally with a cane. My friend has taken up all the household duties, like mowing the lawn and caring for the pool.

    One of their neighbors has anonymously secured a weekly lawn service for this family. It’s such a small thing, one many people in California automatically pay like their water or waste bills. Not this family (nor mine). This anonymous kindness has taken one worry off this stressed mom’s shoulders, and she is grateful.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. How could anyone be angry with the spread of their own kindness?

    Many blessings on you and your wonderful family!

    1. Michael Schmid

      I love that, Mary Kathryn! It’s so nice to know there are so many good people out there. Even in times of crisis (even terrorism) we see strangers rushing to help. I choose to believe that people are basically good, but sometimes we need a reminder (no matter how tough life may be for us) to give a little back to those who have been dealt an even worse hand. I very much appreciate you dropping by, and your always thoughtful comments. Have a super day!

  2. Jessica

    What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing. Last summer my son had saved up enough money to buy a new toy at the dollar store. While there we found $1 taped to the shelves near the toys and is said “Random Act of Kindness” on a sticky note attached. I explained what it was to my son and he said since it had already made us happy we should let someone else in the store have it. We wandered the store and he found a mother and young baby and told me they were the ones. So we told them about the $1. I don’t know if they went to get it or not, but I was thrilled to know my son wanted to share the happiness and not just take the money.

    1. Michael Schmid

      You must be so proud of your son, Jessica. How very cool that he wanted to share the happiness that random act of kindness brought him with someone else. :) Thanks so much for sharing this!

  3. alicia k (Petite Pilates Pixie)

    this is absolutely beautiful!!! what a great way to carry on his legacy

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