Friday, April 20, 2012

no limit to kindness

Two months ago, I did the unthinkable.  I dropped my car keys on a side street without my knowing and didn't notice until three hours had passed.  I freaked, quietly.  No really, I did.  If you know me - you'd know that I have a keen sense of calmness when things get crazy.  I have been complemented on my ability to digest situations rationally.  I don't know how I came to be this way considering I grew up in a family that did not teach me to do so.  Maybe it's the Sociology degree I acquired, or my being a parent - whichever the case, I'm here to tell you the story of my mishap.

I began by retracing my steps.  I crazily remembered my morning shot of whiskey and how my giddy presence overtook my sense of thinking straight.  I had ideas to write of and my biggest goal for the day was to submit a review for a local newspaper I was trying to land a gig with.  I remember walking to my car with feelings of content completion because I finished the article with good feelings inside.  That's when I noticed I didn't have my keys.  Okay, I will just check my coat pockets - nope, not there.  Maybe my laptop case side pocket - no, not there either.  Alright, I'll retrace my steps exactly as I remember.  Well, that's not gonna happen because I was buzzing just a bit and since I was feeling extremely gleeful in the morning - I didn't know one hundred percent sure where I crossed the street, when I thought I put my car keys in my purse and how I was gonna locate the keys in the mist of scattered snow and mud on the ground.  Good times, huh?

I finally came to a conclusion.  I reviewed my steps over and over again and yet the keys never resurfaced.  I called my brother who lived nearby.  He offered to assist me in my search, but I kept thinking it would be useless.  Then he made a suggestion that maybe someone picked them up and turned them in to the taco joint located nearby.  After considering the possibility, I asked him to join me so he could watch my car while I ventured out to taco land.  He set out to drive over.

As I waited, I tried a few more times to search the grounds.  I looked under cars parked, I asked a neighbor nearby if they noticed any keys on the ground.  I even dug my shoes into patches of mud that were layered in various spots just in case somehow they were buried within.  Nothing turned up.

I stopped in the middle of the street and took some deep breaths.  For one crazy moment I thought maybe, just maybe, there was a good Samaritan who found the keys and without knowing who I was or where I went, decided that he would turn in the keys where I could find them easily.  I looked up from where I stood and at that very moment I saw my car keys hanging on one of the fence bars right there in front of me.  All I had to do was walk a few steps to my left and soon they would be in my hands again.

I still can't over this act of kindness.  This stranger - someone whom I never met, put my keys on the fence bar and they sat there for three hours until I came back to claim them.  This is honestly the most sincere act of kindness that I have ever encountered.  I wish I knew their name so I may thank them graciously, but finding that out would probably be ten times harder than finding a needle in a haystack.

I shared my "story of goodness" with others because I wanted them to believe in hope .  There are good people out there.  This was a very positive occurrence that probably happens everyday in some way, shape or form yet goes unnoticed.  These stories need to be told - in conclusion:  don't give up.  Return kindness to others.  Offer help when someone needs a hand, hold doors open for everyone, say thank you and you're welcome, extend compliments, go out of your way to let others know you appreciate them.  There's no limit to kindness.  It exists within all of us - we just have to express it and I believe that the more we do this, the more random acts of kindness won't just be random anymore and this crazy world we live in will become a peaceful place.

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