Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Gift of Giving

Have you ever been a part of a random act of kindness? Have you ever paid for a stranger's meal, groceries, or gas? Or have you ever had someone treat you to said kindness?

I remember hearing stories about an historical day at a Starbucks drive-thru where a customer drove up to the window, money in hand, only to be told their drink was paid for by the person ahead of them. Not only were they so grateful for the gift, they decided to pass it on to the person behind them. That person, of course, passed it on to the person behind them. Legend has it that pattern continued for a while... Or maybe just until the line of cars was gone. ;) At any rate, it's amazing to recognize the depths of generosity that exist within us.

I stumbled upon an article the other day that made me think of this and I can't help but share it with you all, because it is truly amazing!

A man by the name of Jonathan Stark came up with a rather unique social experiment in which he put his Starbucks card out onto the interweb so as to treat us all to a cup of joe. Seriously. (Take a peak at his website to learn more about why he's doing it: Jonathan's Card ) You simply download this image here and head off to the nearest Starbucks and spend someone else's money. What's amazing about this experiment is that the card continues to get refilled, and not just by Jonathan. People have been so grateful for the random kindness shown that they have been reloading the card with their money, just to get in on the gig.

This got me thinking: there is no one way to go about bestowing a random act of kindness. We just have to be open to seeing the opportunities and take them when they present themselves. Sometimes it comes through strangers, sometimes through friends, and sometimes through random social experiments. We have no idea how much of an impact something like this may or may not be making on people's lives, but it is making an impact. So pass it on, use it, maybe even thrown some extra cash at it to bless someone else with. Go ahead. I dare you. You'll be surprised at how the blessing gets returned.

Thank you, Jonathan Stark!


ChristineG said...

When I was in high school, myself and a good friend of mine, made sure that we did something nice for someone else on a daily basis. Little things like telling someone they look nice, paying for someones lunch that was low on cash, or bringing in food or something for people. Bigger things too, depending on the situation.

I stopped doing this when i got out of high school, not sure why. Most likely laziness or the fact that I dont have access to the same amount of people as i had before.

I live on an army base and was thinking about starting a lunch cart thing and providing lunches for soldiers so they don't have to eat whatever the chow hall is providing on a given day. Obviously i have to do it on a small scale seeing as I'm not bill gates but i figure it will be something nice to do for people who sacrifice so much and get very little appreciation in return.

This blog definitely made me really want to step up and get going with this idea. So thanks Amber!! Always enjoy reading your blog!

imeldaodonoghue123 said...

Another great blog Amber, always such an interesting read. I got shown great kindness from most of my friends when i was laid up for 8 weeks when I broke my leg. Even if it was just bringing me for a bit of shopping it really cheered me up to know i had such good people in my life :):):)