My wife, our preschool-aged daughter and I were having lunch at a restaurant a while back. Upon finishing I requested the bill, and got out my wallet. The waitress returned a few minutes later with a big grin on her face. She handed me a piece of paper, and told me to put away my wallet. Imagine my surprise when I saw the paper was our receipt and it was already paid in full!
Someone else eating at that restaurant, someone we didn’t know nor had even seen, had paid for our meal. The waitress said they had already left the restaurant, but not before scrawling us a sweet note and paying our bill – as a random act of kindness. It was just a small, simple gesture, but it really reset my family’s perspective that day.
Have you ever committed random acts of kindness? How did they go? I bet they not only made a difference in the other person’s day, but it may have done something for yours as well? Studies now show one of the biggest benefactors of generosity is the person dishing it out. It’s not the reason for doing it, of course, but it’s a nice fringe benefit! So where are good places we might randomly offer kindness to strangers?
This first thing that popped into my head was in cars. Cars are places many of us encounter stress on an almost daily basis. Despite what the car commercials would have you believe, our vehicles are rarely (ever?) that zone of refined tranquility they portray. Maybe, though, we… you and me… can help just a bit, and shine a shaft of sunshine and add a smile to a stranger’s day?
I’ve got some great suggestions below for 5 random acts of road kindness I recommend we all give a try, but first I wanted to mention something I’m really excited about. Bet you didn’t know this, but September 3rd is Drive Safe Today Day! You didn’t know? Me neither. I have a hard enough time keeping up with all the other holidays and such each year, but this date is important to me. Really important.
Like yours, my family is on the road every day, and frankly it scares me a little to think about the risk they take each time they drive. Drive Safe Today Day is a day where we can pledge to drive a little safer, and more considerately. Together we can make being on the road on 9-3-14 more pleasant for everyone. And who knows – our small acts of driving kindness may add up to something big – they might even save lives!
How can you participate? The first thing I’d ask you to do is take the pledge! I did, and so did my wife. Then visit the Drive Safe Today Day site – and please be sure to share this site with family and friends! If we find just one tip on there that keeps you and others more safe on the road, it’s worth it, right? And Lastly, I ask you to consider some of these awesome random acts of driving kindness:
Top 5 Random Acts of Driving Kindness:
- You’re the first to spy a great parking spot in front of the grocery store or gym? What if you waved the person in the car behind you into it, instead of taking it yourself? Alright! That wasn’t so bad? Let’s try another.
- Someone gets into the wrong lane ahead of you, and now they are trying to merge into your lane? Think anyone in your lane is going to let them in? Yep, you are; complete with a friendly wave!
- The light turns green and that driver ahead of you must be lost in thought because she isn’t going anywhere! Instead of laying on your horn, maybe you take a deep breath and be patient a moment longer. If you pass each other later, give her the shrug and “we’ve all been there” smile!
- That movie you’ve been dying to see it about to start – but your just getting in the car! It’s darned tempting to drive a little over the speed limit, right? After all it looks like everyone else is doing it. But you don’t – instead you make the highway a safer place by driving the speed limit or less, as traffic dictates. When you check your watch and that urge to swear under your breath starts to rise – just laugh instead! It’s just a movie.
- The car really needs an oil change, and it’s your spouse’s turn to take the car in to the local lube shop. Instead of popping a cold one and hitting the couch, you change the oil as a surprise, and even fill up the gas tank for good measure. You’re just that awesome!
What do you think. Can small random acts of kindness make a difference in your life or in someone else’s? What are some random acts of kindness you’ve done or have seen others do that we should add to this list?
Lastly, please be sure to join me, and millions of others as we take the pledge and observe the nicest day to be on the road. Together let’s make EVERY DAY Drive Safe Today Day!
I’ve teamed up with Progressive for their Drive Safe Today initiative. Although I’ve been compensated for my post, the thoughts and ideas are my own.