Some people call them random acts of kindness. Which I am also grateful for and which I am convinced make the world a better place. But when people take their hard-earned moula and/or time and inject it into someone elses little world, that’s takes an amazing leap of faith and selflessness. I call them acts of anonymous generosity.
I’ve been the anonymous giver before – buying an elderly persons petrol or milk and bread, doing the parking meter thing, spotting someone coins to complete their purchase, taking neighbours baked goods, giving all my coinage to people on the street, just small things.
But I’ve been on the receiving end only once in my life. Heavily pregnant and having been seen by a nasty midwife during a check up, I was in the car park (which on that day was a good 1km walk from the hospital, oh and it was raining that day, oh and did I mention I was 37 weeks pregnant and in my work clothes i.e. a suit) and had spent my last $5 on a bottle of water on the hike back to the car. I reckon I was dehydrated partly from the walk in freakin 99% humidity, partly from the half blatant half ‘pull yourself together you can sob when you get to the car’ bottom lip quivering crying, partly from being made to wait 5 minutes to purchase a simple bottle of water in a non air-conditioned cafe . . . in QLD . . . in summer . . . in the rain . . . 37 weeks pregnant . . . no chairs to rest on . . . the only cafe on the trek back to the car park.
Aaaaaaanyway, I got to the car park half an hour later, and the pay machine would not take cards! The only parking building in the hospital complex that didn’t take cards. AND – I – LOST IT. There were tears, my word there were tears. I stepped aside to let another woman use the machine, contemplating what to do – sit down and spend the remainder of my day in the smelly urine stained car park, ring an ambulance to take me to the ATM at the hospital, ring a cab to take me to the ATM, make a break for it and drive through the boom gates like they do in Terminator movies. Walking back to the hospital ATM was NOT an option.
And this middle aged woman that I had stepped aside for and turned my back on so she couldn’t see me crying, out of no where, asked if I was alright. I can’t imagine why she would think I wasn’t, perhaps it was the tear drenched cheeks and panda eyes. And in a moment when I let my pride fall away, possibly from complete exhaustion, without thinking I managed to say, ‘oh yes thank you, it’s just that I didn’t know this machine only took cards’. And bless her, she offered out of no where to spot me my parking. I didn’t even expect her to, it hadn’t entered my mind. I was sure she was just concerned I was fragile and a threat to her saftey since it was just me and her in a dark parking lot . . . . and since heavily pregnant woman, in suits, and in tears have such stealth ninja skills which they routinely draw on to mug strangers asking after their welfare. Ohhhh the logic of a pregnant womans mind!
I needed $2 and she gave me a $5 note. I think she expected me to give her some coins from my purse for the difference, little did she know I didn’t have any so I shoved it in the machine (just feeling utterly miserable and wanting to get the hell out of there), she looked surprised but went along. And as I waited to get the change from the machine she said ‘look don’t worry about it’ and headed to her car. She reassured me she didn’t need her change and off she went.
I could’ve given that woman a running hug. If I could’ve run. Or hugged for that matter. I would’ve given anything not to have to walk back to that hospital and this stranger came through with a completely anonymous act of generosity that I will never forget.
So if you are a giver of anonymous generosity, know that I am grateful for you. What you do can change a moment on its head. And that my friends can make the world of difference sometimes.
I’m linking up with Maxabella Loves for 52 weeks of grateful.