I had family come into town and stay with me for a holiday weekend. I drink a cheap brand of instant coffee, and knowing that they had already silently choked through one morning of it, I decided to sneak out early the next morning to Tim Horton’s to pick up some real java.
With puffy late night eyes, disheveled early morning hair, and clad in sweats and a hoodie, I sat at the drive-thru window basking in the afterglow of an enjoyable evening with family.
As the young male employee at the window handed me my change and a cardboard tray containing my order, I had a thought.
“Hey, buddy” I queried with a smile, “what’s the total bill for the car behind me?”
“$1.75” he said.
“I’ll pay it!” I said as I handed him my money, “Tell the guy that I said, ‘Happy Holidays!’”
And off I went, grinning big, and feeling giddy and mischievous.
I thought about it as I quietly snuck back into my apartment and placed the rich, aromatic coffee on the counter to surprise my niece. And I remembered again later that day and smiled at the thought of the unsuspecting recipient sharing his experience with a friend.
I probably enjoyed this small gesture even more than he had.
That’s the funny thing about giving – you always receive more than you give.
Secretly I hoped that maybe he took a cue from me and paid the tab for the car behind him in line.
But, no matter. The deed was done. And complete in its entirety. No strings. And no expectations.
That was the best part. He couldn’t even thank me.
A random act of kindness . . . it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or be some grand elaborate expression; all it takes is a little creativity and a moment’s thought about someone other than yourself.
One Tim Horton’s small cafe mocha: $1.75.
My return on investment: Priceless!