Yesterday it happened to us. We were waiting in line at a local Starbucks, minding our own business when suddenly, out of nowhere, it hit us. As we went to pay for our coffee, the barista made a series of awkward gestures and machinations which had the effect of denying us the ability to pay for the steamy beverage.
It was odd, yet being one with a frugal bent, we did not complain, yet we wondered, "just what is going on here?"
Then, out of the corner of our eye, we caught traces of a grin on the woman who we had not noticed up until that point. It was then we realized that we were not the victim of a faulty register or incompetent barista, we had become the victim of yet another random act of kindness.
Over the holiday season, we have become aware of numerous persons who have gone on a quiet rampage, a wave of gift-giving and other acts of kindness such as the one we fell victim to.
What is disturbing about the recent outbreaks of these acts is that they appear to be occurring completely at random, victimizing old and young, rich and poor, regardless of race, gender, religion, or ethnic group affiliation, it appears that no one is safe from these random, seemingly senseless acts.
What is even more disturbing is that the perpetrators are nearly impossible to profile, making preparations against such acts futile as the assailants, like their victims, do not follow any pattern nor do these acts have any common thread, save for the selfless acts of kindness that are performed.
Those who choose to engage in such acts may look as much like the woman who victimized us as the elderly man or woman next door. There are even reports of an entire airplane full of people being victimized. According to reports, passengers on a flight operated by the Canadian Airline Westjet between Toronto and Calgary were being pestered by a man impersonating Santa Claus, of all people, before they even boarded their flight. Once they had arrived at their destination, they were greeted at their baggage claim by one of the most blatant random acts of kindness in recent memory.
You can see video of the entire shocking incident by clicking here.
Can society tolerate such an outbreak of random acts of kindness and the uncertainty that they bring into everyday situations? If the reactions of the Westjet passengers and our own reaction to being a recipient of one of these random acts are any indication, there is only one logical conclusion to be drawn should reports of random acts of kindness continue to rise:
The world will be a much better place.
Word on the street is that there is a Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week planned on February 10-16, 2014. Be prepared, we know we will.