You just never know where you will find opportunities for random acts of kindness. The other night as I was heading home, I realized my gas tank was empty and I needed to stop and get it filled. Pulling into the small station, every pump was being used. I noticed a white SUV sitting on the side, but wasn’t sure if this person was waiting for an available pump or simply tending to other tasks. I drove around the station several times when right as I was coming around the corner (for the third time!) a car was leaving! YES! I was ecstatic! I could finally pull in and get some gas! (I mean, how embarrassing would it be to drive around and around on fumes only to run out of gas mere feet away from the gas pump!)
I started to pull into the now available spot when I happened to glance in my rear view mirror. Lo and behold, that same white SUV I had spotted before was now behind me, and the driver did NOT look happy at all. Had she been waiting this entire time? Did she think I was taking her spot? The thoughts crowded my brain in mere seconds and I was tempted to push them away just as fast. Instead, I opened my car door and leaned out facing hers.
“Ma’am? We’re you waiting for this spot?” I asked, using my hands to gesture towards the available pump. She rolled down her window with a sharp, “What?” that perfectly matched the angry expression on her face. “This spot,” I repeated, pointing to the gas pump, “Were you waiting for this?”. With her exasperated reply of “Yes!”, I knew she was indeed waiting for a spot and was a bit irritated that I was now in it. “You can have it. I wasn’t sure if you were waiting or not. You were here before me. Take it!” And with that, I drove out of the spot and continued my search, smiling at my 11th deed.
Now I will interject a bit of brutal honesty here. Had I not committed myself to being a kinder person to others as part of my 40th Birthday Project, I would have probably just pulled into the spot, pumped my gas, and went about my merry way without another thought to the lady whose evening would be soured by some inconsiderate gal who took her spot at the gas station. But this is NOT how my story ends. I made a choice to be kind. I made a choice to put someone else before me (literally!) and it actually made me feel good, too!
As luck would have it, I made one more loop around the station and another spot opened up, so I’m happy to report that my car did not expire on fumes. What did this act of kindness cost me? Three minutes of patience, a little bit of humility, and a touch of humbleness. Not once did I have to open my wallet (well, other than to pay for my own gas after I got to a pump, lol!)
The next time you’re headed towards a crowded gas station where the lines are long and patience is thin, look around and see if there’s someone YOU can bless. I’m sure you won’t have to look very far!
Be blessed, dear friends! Have a wonderful weekend!
**This post dedicated to my sister and my Grandma, because everything 11 makes us smile :-)**