Acts of Kindness. Who gets more out of it?
A few weeks ago, we were exiting a drive-through on a cold morning. We had grabbed some coffee and breakfast sandwiches and were on our way to our next appointment. We were stopped at the traffic light and waiting for the light to change. Ahead of us was a man holding a sign that asked for some help and kindness. He was shivering in the cold and had a far-away stare that made him appear lost in his thoughts. I felt the need to offer some help, so I grabbed the change I had and rolled down my window calling to him. The act seemed to snap him out of his thoughts, and he rushed over to take my small offering with a big smile and a mumbled “Bless you”. I couldn’t help but smile as well as we drove away.
As we rummaged through the food bag, we realized we were missing some items, and decided to go back. All this time, I couldn’t shake the odd feeling I had and the image of the man on the corner. Did I do enough to help him? Could I have done more? As we entered the drive through for a second time, I ordered an extra coffee and a breakfast sandwich. This time we went straight to the corner and approached the man standing in the same spot. I wasn’t sure if he recognized us, but his face lit up when he saw the hot coffee and food. This time the smile was twice as big!
Driving away, I’m not sure who was happier and more fulfilled by this exchange, the man or I?
The receiver or the giver?