i'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. recently my heart has been impacted by people's goodness, generosity and random acts of kindness. the first time was when a group of friends and i were enjoying some minsky's pizza in PV- when our waitress informed us that a couple who had been dining nearby had left fifty dollars towards our bill- cash. (kind act one) the fact that our waitress told us what had happened and didn't just pocket the cash was actually amazing as well. (so, i'm counting that as kind act two).
the one took place last winter when my fiance and i traveled to visit some friends in Santa Barbara for my birthday. we had been enjoying a FANTASTIC meal at this place called Plow and Angel- of San Yisidro Ranch fame. at the end of the evening, our waiter shared that someone had anonymously called the restaurant and specifically requested to pay $100 toward our tab! to this day the four of us STILL do not know who that secret angel's identity. (but their generosity was tremendously appreciated!)
then the fourth kind act took place last spring when i was (of all places)-in line at chipoltle. i was crammed into the line along with dozens of others as we patiently waited for our burritos and bowls to be made. when i went to pay for my order, the two beaming check out girls informed me that the person in front of me had paid for my meal. as i stood there incredulously, they shared that every friday the same anonymous woman comes in right as the lunch rush is getting ready to boom and begins the "pay it backward" phenomenon buying lunch for the person in line behind her....which is then perpetually carried out through the entire lunch rush as person after person upon learning of the kind act, duplicates it for the person behind them in line. it was staggering and beautiful and i joyfully paid for the random guy in line behind me's tacos with guac.
another experience took place about a month ago when i arrived home after a long day/evening. to find a freshly autographed brand new book by Nicholas Sparks in my mailbox. nicholas sparks wrote one of my favorite books of all time (the Notebook) and knowing this, my sweet guy (my fiance was revealed as the secret angel in this one) attended the book signing on the plaza with about 800 women and 7 other guys. now he didn't just get the book signed, oh no. he sat, he listened, he took notes on what nicholas shared about writing, he purchased the book and he got it signed for me- all as a surprise- just because he knew it would make me happy.
the sixth recent kind act took place last week when i went to check my mailbox and discovered that some sweet secret angel had left me a package of my favorite chocolate zingers! there was no card, no name, not anything other than that sweet treasure left for me to find and enjoy! not too many people know of my secret love affair with the chocolate zinger- which makes it that much more special and personal.
Halloween marked yet another random act of kindness experience. i was having a delicious and hilarious breakfast with my pal Jessica...something we love to do. we were oblivious to those seated nearby and were utterly shocked when our waiter told us with delight on his face that someone had already picked up our tab and left. so basically, while we sat there sipping our beverages and nibbling on pancakes, this mystery gentleman secretly went about making our days with this random act of kindness.
these people- some known to me and some not- all have one thing in common. they remembered to put on their secret invisible angel wings and use them! we all have these wings. the trick is remembering to put them on and then seizing opportunities to put them to use by spreading joy in this dark world and giving kindness where it is least expected.
i speak from experience when i say: people will remember that you did this. they might not realize that it was you who specifically made their day, but rest assured, their hearts will be touched, they will tell others about their experience and they may even go on to "pay it forward" and bless someone else as a result. the ripple effect cannot help but be bigger than we can imagine. so i wish to express my own gratitude to the kindness angels who have touched my heart and life recently. i do not know who most of you are, but you have impacted my life by giving me glimpses of beauty in the world and a restored belief in the innate goodness of people. thank you. i can see your secret wings.