I’m subscribed to a few different Kindness blogs and really enjoy the ideas and uplifting experiences I read about through them. I was inspired by a fellow Kindness Blogger to do my first real RAOK (Random Act of Kindness) to a total stranger today. Betsy, from The Kindness of Strangers, has declared the 27th of each month “Give Flowers to a Stranger Day.” She enjoyed it so much when she did it originally on April 27th that she’s done it every month since. So when I seen her reminder post last night in my Google Reader I just knew that I wanted to be a part of it too. :o)
This morning I decided that it would be good to include the kiddos in my RAOK. So my normal Friday solitaire trip running errands turned into a family excursion that hopefully opened my children’s eyes to the magic of kindness. First stop was Kroger's where I was hoping to find a beautiful bouquet of flowers on mark down, because while I love being nice- I am on a budget after all. Unfortunately the only bunches they had were too costly for my wallet. Not to be deterred- I picked up 2 pretty white flowers that were inexpensive. (It’s the thought that counts- not the price, right?)
Back in the van we attached a simple note card that I printed for free here from Frog Prince Paperie. I wrote a message on the back explaining that it was a RAOK and encouraged the recipient to carry on the kindness.
On to Wal-Mart we went, where we was faced with the challenge of finding the stranger to give our flowers too. I didn’t want to bother anyone that was sitting in their cars- I was afraid it would creep them out if a stranger came tapping at their window. I tried to engage the boys in helping me find someone. We decided that it would be best to give the flowers to someone that was leaving Wal-Mart and that a woman would appreciate them more so than a man. With that in mind we moved by the doors and waited outside.
When a mother with her young son in the cart exited I decided she would do just fine. I do have to admit it took a bit of courage to get her attention and give them to her- I had no idea what type of reaction I would get. But I just decided what they heck & to go for it and got her attention. Then I simply told her these were for her and handed them to her. She didn’t ask why or anything and simply said thank you. I didn’t quite know what to do then, so my boys and I continued inside to the store like it was a normal thing to give strangers flowers. I had hoped for a little more of a reaction from my first total RAOK, but when I glanced back as I was walking in and seen the big smile on the little boy’s face as he watched me leave I felt happy. And I realized that it wasn’t about me, wasn’t about personal gratification- it was about giving freely and completely without expectations. And hoping others get even a small fraction of joy I feel from it.