Thursday, April 15, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

Remember those faith based Easter baskets? In order to fill them with the Bible and Bible book I loaded my kids up on a week day after we'd finished school and I headed to our local Christian Book Store. The bookstore is small and often very quiet, and it's parking is very limited as well. To avoid parking in the small carpark and getting blocked in I decided to park on the side of the road. This required backing into a parking spot. While I can back up our boat of a car, it has a lot of blind spots and I'm equally intimidated by the many occupance of our town who can stop in the middle of traffic throw their vehicle into reverse and pull into a parking spot before I can say, "Unsafe." My reversing skills are pitiful compared to the majority of the people here.

I come from a place where parking was free and most shops had such enourmous car parks our biggest complaint was not getting to park in the first 5 slots to the door. You know the type, where you wonder where on earth you parked your car and you'd feel silly that you can't remember but you've just bumped into 5 other people with the exact same problem. All of you mumbling numbers and letters under your breath which should remind you of which row you parked in. The kind of place where you could buy your groceries, including organics, veggies, and meat all at one time. If you timed things just right your husband could get his hair cut and your kids could get their eyes checked at the same time. In fact, if you were really good with that timing your car could get an oil change and a tire check while you were at it. I was not, however use to backing into precariously small drives, slim parking spots, and other such places. I am most certainly not, 'the best backer upper ever.' All though, I am occasionally dubbed as such by my kids when I can pull the car under the carport with one swift motion and we notice it's exactly in the middle.

So there I am, backing up into a fairly easy spot on the side of the road. My kids are excited about the prospect of playing in the bin of toys the shop has set up for children while their parents browse. They were gibbering away madly and I'm attempting to judge how close the hitch on the back of my car was from the bumper of the car behind me. As I check my rearview mirror again I notice someone bustling out of the shop I'm hoping to go into. This same man comes right up to my car, leans down to the open window and says, "If you just turn your wheel towards me and go straight back you'll be fine."

I turn my wheel and of course turn it too far so he says, "Just a bit too much." I straighten the wheel and he says, "That's it, now straight back." I back up slowly and he insists I have plenty of room. He advises me to turn the wheel just a pinch more and keep going. I do. He plops coins into my meter and is up the road and around the corner before I can even open my car door. I'm standing there and considering chasing him down, I hadn't even had a moment to thank him when I simply shout, "Thank you." up the street.  I'm not sure I've ever been on the end of a such an amazing act of random kindness, but honestly it really blew me away.

When I told Mr S about it later he was equally impressed and asked if we knew the gentleman. I told him that we didn't, and that from the large pack on his back and his walking shoes I suspect he was a backpacker or tourist of some sort. A complete and utter stranger to us. It truly made me feel so blessed for the rest of the day. Funny thing is, I can't back up our boat of a car now without thinking about that one simple act of kindness and smiling about how amazingly sweet it was.


Spesamor Academy said...

How cool! :)

Gae said...

Dear Kendra,
I tried to e-mail you today but am having trouble with my outgoing mail. I can receive e-mails inthough.
Anyway I found your blog and have been reading it and enjoying it
I think I may live near you as we are in Spreyton Tasmania.
Wondering if you would be interested in getting in touch.
I also noticed you mention a homeschool group. We have been here over 7 years and not met many homeschoolers.
Hoping to hear from you
my e-mail is or you can get it from my blog