I was on an airport bus this week and experienced an extraordinary person. She wasn’t the driver (the one who is responsible for customer service) – she was just another rider. She exuded an engaging energy and seemed to have a sense of shared well-being. Well-being she shared with the world.
When I got on the bus, there she was, along with a man who looked painfully confused. Turns out he didn’t know his departure gate and was quite befuddled. The driver wasn’t helping, so the RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) lady stepped in. She asked Mr. Befuddled what he knew about his flight: time destination, flight number…anything. In under a minute, she had his gate number. He was noticeably relieved. She smiled and fell back
into her smart phone. I smiled to myself thinking the kindness was circumstantial. Kudos to her, but public displays of kindness aren’t always common.
When we got to the right stop for Mr. Befuddled, he almost missed it – but his guardian angel gently nudged him along. Then she joined the driver in a conversation about the World Series. I noticed that her attention had an impact on the driver. I suspect he works in a paradoxically lonely world full of people. On this ride, he threw out a line of human connection, which she caught and responded to. (As I reflect on it, I realized I didn’t).
The impact on the driver was clear. The exchange brightened his outlook and, I suspect, the rest of his day. When we got to our mutual stop, she gathered her things, gave our driver a tip (he hadn’t carried her bag, he simply drove) and wished us all well with a magnetic, friendly energy.
Last week I wrote about Negaholics. It was good to experience this woman who demonstrated how Random Acts of Kindness are on the other end of the human-encounter spectrum. Our lesson is we get to choose how we meet the world. There it was, live and in person on the bus. At no cost to her, she was able to make the world a better place simply by moving through it.
So imagine Random Acts of Kindness as a way of being – something that is as simple a breathing. Simple but it’s not always easy. It requires being aware of how I am seeing and experiencing the world.
On the other hand, it sure invites a joyful outlook. And the impact can be profound.