Today, we had just parked when a guy leaving handed us his ticket. It had an hour left on it and he even backed up to give it to me. Just a random act, but that simple kindness set off a chain. When I went in for my physio appointment, a battered young man was trying to pay his account. He looked weary, his hand was heavily bandaged. He was not having a good day!
The receptionist explained they had no cash float; she had to have a card. He had none, just twenty dollar bills. She was prepared to put it on account, except he was leaving town.
“Give me the cash,” I said, “and it can go on my visa.” Next problem: he owed $101.78 and only had twenty dollar bills.
“Have it on me,” I said, “You look as if you could do with some luck.”
And I wondered would I have so easily offered if I hadn't been primed by the parking lot stranger's prior generosity? I hope so, but suspect he set the tone. And will my act perhaps get handed on by the guy I helped or perhaps the receptionist?
Is kindness like a wave passing through water or an electrical impulse down a line? In the Celestine Prophecy, people were vying for energy, stealing it from each other. Do we have another choice, passing energy as kindness, not knowing where it will end up, but knowing that as in physics, it never disappears.
And, worrying thought, what happens to the outright nastiness fired at call centre agents or vitriolic comments on line. Where does that poison end up – and how many does it hurt as it ricochets down through time?
As we walked out, Bill bent and picked a silver dime from the sidewalk.