Round Robin November Changing Smalls

Landmark creation

Landmark creation


Tell when you last performed or received a random act of kindness that made your day better is what Rhobin has asked us to think about this month.

Mulling over this topic has brought to mind a lot of small things, but I’m really struggling to find something huge. Something on the scale of that street art in Chicago, pictured above.
Do you know what I mean? Did someone leave me a house? No.
But the people we bought the house we’ve brought up our children in left a shoe cupboard behind. My husband and daughter turned it into a doll’s house.
I do love the random acts that bring a smile and keep bringing it later when you remember the event unexpectedly.
Down in London on the day of a tube strike, I was levered onto a full bus by a young man who also lifted my suitcase onto the platform. He then gave up his own hard won place to a pregnant lady allowing her to travel instead of spending more time waiting in the sun. 
That kind of moment is so much happier to remember than the sour-faced tabbies who witter on about the way you’re queuing. In middle and old age, that sort of wittering about stuff that doesn’t actually matter is a tendency we all need to guard against.
As my mum got older, but still travelled to visit friends and relatives, I worried about her luggage etc. So when I was on a London train myself I carried an older lady’s suitcase to the barrier where her daughter was waiting. Brownie points, I said, and we exchanged smiles.
You know what I mean – I do something nice and somewhere in the ether it’s noticed, so my mum’s suitcase would find a helpful youngster. I saw this in action last year when a group of schoolboys travelling home from a school in York, put an elderly lady’s case onto the rack. They could see she was already worrying about how she’d get it down and reassured her they were going at least as far as she was and would bring it down for her. Good manners, yes, but the added thoughtfulness is what lingers like a fragrance in the memory.
I’t the small things that add up and make our lives. 
In my Bella’s Betrothal Charles Lindsay puts his name and reputation on the line for a neighbour’s niece. He could have walked away, but he didn’t.
So as America approaches Thanksgiving drop by some others on the list and see what touches their hearts. Here’s Rhobin Courtright but there’re lots of others, too.

8 thoughts on “Round Robin November Changing Smalls

  1. Hi Anne. We’ve been traveling in Guatemala. Had a flat tire high in the mountains, on a dangerous curve just as it was getting dark. OH was valiantly trying to change it while I curled into a ball and wanted to go home. A car stopped, A man got out, changed the wheel and drove off. Next day a lorry went into the back of the the same hire car and didn’t stop. (Not the highlight of our holiday I have to say! Will think carefully about driving in Guatemala again, especially in such a remote region) Hertz wouldn’t answer the 24 helpline and our Spanish wasn’t really up to dealing with things. We were in a cafe, glumly discussing what to do next when another stranger came up and asked in perfect English if he could be of any assistance. Two random acts of kindness in two days. Bad associations wiped away just like that. Guatemala is a great country (even if their roads are terrible)


    • My goodness, Jacqui. We were in buses and minibuses as we were travelling in a group. Doesn’t it make you so jealous, and embarrassed, when people speak such good English? I tried really hard for a long time to learn French and although I can read it passably well, still can’t hold even a basic conversation. Are you home now? I hear you have exciting news. Anne


  2. When I was writing my post, I also struggled with finding big, impactful acts of kindness and finally settled on the fact that often it’s the small ones that make all of the difference in the world. It wasn’t until I was reading another blog post (I believe it was Skye’s) that I remembered one that happened many, many years ago. I was backpacking through Europe alone. I caught a ferry to the Isle of Harris/the Isle of Lewis (It’s one isle split in two). On the ferry, I met a young man. He was very friendly and was, frankly, hitting on me. I wasn’t interested, but chatted politely with him. When we got to the island, I’d just missed the only bus crossing it for the next week. (Not uncommon in Scotland, I guess.) This man offered to drive me across the island(s). He was a delivery man and came out there all of the time. Not only did he drive me across the island, but when he heard I’d come to see where one branch of my father’s family came from, he drove me all the way out to the end of the isle. On the way, we stopped at a henge he knew about. He drove me to the other side of the island where I could catch the ferry over to Ullapool. Yes, he was interested in me, but he was also kind when he didn’t have to be as I didn’t show any signs of being interested in him. 🙂 I remembered his kindness and did something similar for someone when I returned to the States.

    And, yes, thoughtfulness does linger. It makes an impression, and, hopefully, that impression will inspire the next person to commit a random act of kindness.


  3. I love your analogy “Added thoughtfulness is what lingers like a fragrance in the memory.”
    You’ve done and witnessed some amazing random acts of kindness, as have some of your post’s commenters.


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