These past few weeks I’ve had several encounters with people that really surprised me. Surprised me in a good way, that is. Simply because of how nice they were. And it’s not like their acts of kindness were over the top or anything… They were just… surprising.

Example 1:
After a few hours of shopping in Richmond, I got into my car only to find a folded up piece of scratch paper on my windshield. It was an apology letter from a lady who accidentally hit me car when pulling in next to me. Yea, a car accident isn’t fun to deal with, adds yet another thing to your agenda, and down right sucks… But hey, at least she left a note. And her phone number. In one of the busiest places in the Richmond area, she could have easily reversed out of the parking spot and acted like it never happened. Or she could have been in such a rush she didn’t want to take the time to find some paper and leave a note. But she didn’t, and even though she did wreck my car, her kind gesture of leaving a note made everything seem OK.

Example 2:
At work this past week, one of my fellow staff members went downstairs to our local deli to get some tea, only to come back and surprise me with a Diet Coke. I didn’t ask for it, I didn’t hint at it (or at least I don’t think I did), but she got it anyways. Because she knew I love me some DC, because she probably thought I needed a good caffeine boost, and because she’s just a downright thoughtful person who wanted to do something nice for someone else. A $2 purchase went a long way in my book. (Shout out to Tory!)

Example 3:
Today I finally got my car back from the body shop. Going into it, I just thought they were going to repair my bumper, repaint it, and give me the keys back. Not only did they do all of this, but they also washed it, waxed it, and vacuumed the inside. They could have easily just stuck to the mechanics and what was written on the estimate. Instead, they went the extra mile to make an inconvenient and stressful experience as enjoyable as they could. Thank you Bruce’s Body Shop!

I’m not saying these acts of kindness were surprising because the world is filled with mean, inconsiderate people. I am more touching on the fact that every now and then, a simple act of kindness can really stand out. Through the hustle and bustle of today’s society, we sometimes get tunnel vision or stuck in a routine and don’t make doing favors, or going the extra mile an everyday goal.

And I have to admit, sometimes doing something nice for someone else requires you to go out of your way. But when you do find the time, it makes a difference. A simple gesture can seriously make someone’s day, or better yet, their week!

Make it a goal to do something nice for someone today. The result is worth it.