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

Friday, July 13, 2012

Gift Card for a Stranger

     I was at O'Hare Airport in Chicago this evening, making my way home to Philadelphia, when I passed a McDonald's restaurant situated between the E and F gates.  Since I had a McDonald's gift card with me, I decided this might be a good day to surprise a stranger with a card.  
     It's funny, as I surveyed the people and tried to select a good recipient, I felt kind of nervous.  Even after having done things like this many times so far this year, I still feel a little awkward when I approach a total stranger.  I often think, "What am I doing?"  Of course, since I've made this commitment, I have to keep going and so I get myself to just dive in and go for it.
     I figured I'd stand around the McDonald's and look for someone standing in line (since obviously this would mean they intend to buy something there) and then offer them the gift card; and that's exactly what I did.  I saw a woman wearing a uniform like she might be a maintenance worker of some sort, and I tapped her on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, I'd like to give you this $5 gift card to McDonald's."  She was so surprised, perhaps even shocked, and she couldn't stop thanking me.  I just asked her to do something nice for someone else today, to which she said she absolutely would.  I'm certain she's going to tell her friends and family tonight about the strange thing that happened to her at the airport!
     Like many things that we get nervous for beforehand, afterwards I was so glad that I did it.  I definitely made her day, and it cost so little.  It's fun to do that for a total stranger, and hopefully it had a domino effect as she spread kindness to others.  

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