This morning on my way through the drive-thru at Starbucks I was surprised to find the person in front of me had purchased my coffee for me. When I asked what the reason was the barista answered, “She said other people had done it for her and she wanted to return the gesture.”
I sat there in awe of what had just happened, car idling as they handed me my free drink. How random is this, I thought to myself – there are actually still people out there who are willing to do something kind for complete strangers. In that moment I felt a surge of unexpected joy, being the recipient of something as simple as a coffee from a strange.
As I drove into work I thought about how such a small thing had made such a joyful difference in my morning… I started to think about how larger things might change and effect others. If a free coffee from a stranger can make me smile what would a kind word, free meal from a stranger, or compliment from someone we love, or something larger do to change my day?
Far too often we forget that simple kindness can make such a large difference to the unsuspecting recipient. This also reminds me of showing gratitude, because I think these two are intertwined. By doing something that is kind we show our gratitude for what we have or what we have learned in our lives. Adding a monetary value to these acts, especially in the rough financial times we’ve had, really makes a person stop and think – although simple words of appreciation and kindness are sometimes more meaningful.
Gratitude is something in general I believe isn’t expressed enough. Telling your husband or wife, or brother, sister, or even co-worker how much you appreciate them should be a daily activity. Just like getting a free cup of coffee, knowing someone appreciates or needs you in their lives can go a long way. Take today to show your gratitude for someone who makes a difference in your life.