Friday, 31 May 2013

The kindness of strangers

It's been a(nother busy week) - a good week, but a busy one nonetheless. I was really glad that our CEO sent everybody home at 3 pm today so we can get an early start on the long weekend. I had a bit of time to kill before my ride home so took a leisurely wander up Lambton Quay, eyed up a people watching spot at Midland Park and contemplated a mid-afternoon coffee.

A woman in her 50s approached me and asked, "are you a coffee drinker?" Am I?! "I certainly am," I informed her. "Well, would you like a free coffee? It's fresh from the cafe upstairs. I can't remember if it is a latte or a mocha, but I am so full that I just can't drink it and I don't want to throw it away. Please - you would be doing me a big favour." Stunned, I told her I was just about to buy a coffee anyway. She pressed the cup into my hand while I thanked her profusely, accepted her gift ... and then she was gone, caught up in the Friday afternoon crowd.

As it turns out, the coffee was a perfect latte, not too hot and ready to drink. Who was this woman: a mind reader? A coffee angel??

I simply couldn't leave this good deed undone. I donated the cash I would have spent on coffee to the Life Flight, one of my favourite charities whose street appeal is on today. I know it's just a drop in the bucket, but hopefully this random act of kindness along with my donation this morning can go a tiny way towards saving someone's life one day.

Pay it forward, people - and don't think you have to wait for a special day to do it. Sure, I buy coffee for the next person on Random Acts of Kindness Day, but think how awesome it would be if I did it before then. (Note to self: find out if suspended coffee has taken off in town. I hope it has!) The tiniest gesture can TOTALLY make someone's day. This anonymous donor will never know what an impact she has made. Wellington, you are beautiful!

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