Thursday, September 17, 2009

Random acts of kindness

A few days ago we were eating at a restaurant. As I watched out the window, I noticed a large truck pull next to mine. It parked close. Really close.

A family of five hopped out. I saw the mother and older son in close conversation. They scooted out a small slit in the door and then kept peering into my car.

When they entered the restaurant, the mother kept watching me, noting the children next to me. After a minute, she ran back out to the car and moved it.

The car was two days old, and I'm nervous. I've had some bad experiences with new cars in restaurant parking lots. So I ran out to check.

The car was pristine.

But when I reentered the restaurant, the mother made a beeline for me. I ducked my head, nervous of a confrontation. But she pressed forward, following me back to the table.

"I saw you looking at your car," she said. "We didn't hit it or anything. We saw you had car seats and thought you'd need room for the kids."

"I appreciate it," I said, smiling. But inside I was wilting. She'd been so kind, and I was so skeptical.

It's too bad when our minds trend to the negative. And I promised myself I'm going to spend more time looking for the good in people.

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