Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Surprise Dessert . . . With a Note

     As I complete the 44th day of my project, I notice that each act of kindness has its own lessons; and that I can vary one or more aspects of the situation to generate a new and different experience.  Today I revisited an act from last month, but made a couple of small "improvements."  Here's what happened.
     I was meeting an old friend and his wife for dinner at a nice Italian restaurant.  We had lots to catch up on since we hadn't seen each other since I was in Arizona a year ago at this time.  After we had been there for some time, I noticed a young couple sitting in a booth behind my friends; and I decided that it would be a good night to surprise this unsuspecting couple with dessert from a stranger.  You may recall that when I did this one night in Chicago, the couple never said a thing to the waiter, and I suspect may even have thought that the restaurant was including dessert as part of their meal.  This time I was going to make it a little more interesting.
     When our waiter brought me the check, I pointed out the couple and told the waiter that I wanted him to deliver a dessert to them along with a note that I handed him.  I had brought a blank piece of paper with me for this purpose.  This is what I penned on the note: "Please enjoy this dessert courtesy of an anonymous stranger wanting to wish you a great day."  Then I added, "What can you do today to make someone else's day just a little bit brighter?" 
     I figured that the first part of my note would at least let them know that the dessert was a gift from a stranger.  The second part was my chance to subtely suggest a "pay it forward" possibility.  As we left the restaurant, I saw the couple enjoying what appeared to be some type of strawberry shortcake.  It looked pretty darn good! 
     Of course, I have no way of knowing what went through their minds as they received the dessert and read my note.  Hopefully it made them smile and appreciate that people can be kind to each other - even to complete strangers.  And hopefully my prompt will cause them to do something kind for someone else.  And who knows?  Maybe it starts a chain reaction of kindness.  It's a little weird to think that I'll never know what happenend.  I just have to be satisfied that I did something kind for them, and in so doing, at least set in motion a small ripple of kindess in the world.

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