Random acts of kindness


In the past, I have written about crazy things my friends do. I’ve laughed about them and shared them with you. Now the story is about me. While in Florida I made a trip to the local flea market with my neighbors. It’s a tradition. We do it every year and always pick up something that we probably really don’t need. It’s a place usually filled with a lot of people from all walks of life. Its one place you would not like to lose your purse.
My friend and I separated briefly looking at different items and I made a trip to the restroom. The hook inside the stall for your purse was not on the door as usual, but on the side. I hung my purse there and when I left the restroom I accidently left it there. I apparently forgot to look sideways. I didn’t notice it missing because  it was the lightweight variety used for shopping purposes. So, here I am walking along from store to store for over a half hour not even noticing my purse wasn’t on my shoulder. Seriously, can you believe that?
I ran into my friend in the kitchen store. We were picking up little items and as I stepped up to the cash register and reached for the purse, there was nothing on my shoulder. Oh my gosh, where could my purse be? I must’ve set it down when I was looking at something in the store. I told the clerk next to me and she alerted people around me to look for my purse. The thought was nice, but, oh no, now I’ve got all kinds of strangers looking who might even walk away with it if they find it. Talk about being cynical!
I quickly asked the clerk to please call my cell phone, which I knew was inside the purse. When she did that, we heard nothing. Then I alerted my friend to open the app for “find my phone” on her iPhone and it should show where my phone is since I have the app, too. Just as she began to search for that I remembered the last time I saw my purse was in the restroom.
Fortunately, I had my tennis shoes on and I began a full out sprint back there to get my purse. After running for several minutes I heard my name on the loudspeaker – “Melanie Behrens please come to the information center.”
It was repeated again. Now all I had to do was find the information center. I got directions and began running to the center. I walked right up and identified myself. Before turning over the purse she asked my hometown and then there it was in my hand. The clerk said she had called me before, but I didn’t hear it. When the phone rang in my purse, from the other clerk’s call, it reminded her to call me again on the speaker system. It was a tragedy averted.
I actually was only missing the purse for about 10 minutes even though it had been 40 minutes since I left it. Some wonderful woman saved my day by turning it in. I don’t know who it was, but wish I could thank her. Now I am bound to the random acts of kindness return system, or maybe I paid it forward and didn’t think about then.
A random act of kindness is such a wonderful thing to do for someone else. For years, several people I know have been paying for the person behind them in a drive-through fast food lane. That’s a great surprise to have your food paid for by someone you don’t even know. I received the ultimate random act of kindness when someone returned my purse with everything in it.
So if you are so inclined, I urge you to do something nice today for a friend or someone you may not know and make their day a better one, too.
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)

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