How A Random Act of Kindness Taught Me A Lesson


Picture this: Me in my car, coming off of a bitch fest (to my patient husband) about my hard week ahead, and a little old lady, about 5ft tall, with a bit of a hunch to her shoulders and wearing a bedazzled baseball cap slowly but surely filling around FORTY 1 gallon jugs of water at the local flowing well. 

And there I sit, waiting, because she didn't want my help...

at first. 

This is where I think two things: Oh my god. We're going to be here forever, but then, Way to do it to it, lady!

Because I realize that she's actually filling those jugs herself, and probably has for quite some time. 

After about twenty minutes, I see that she's finished and now struggling to affix plastic bags newspapers come in to the mouths of the jugs missing caps, which is almost all of them. So I step in and help (along with a friend who happened to pull in at the same time as us) without permission this time, because FORTY jugs and an EIGHTY-some year old woman. 

She's beside herself with gratitude and proceeds to tell us her story.

Since her husband passed a few years ago, she's been coming to the well alone and filling these jugs herself because, "What else are you going to do? Drink Beloit's water?" There's a pause for laughter, and then she starts telling us about her bike that got stolen "by some punk kid" the other night and how she hopes insurance will cover it because she was just going to start riding again... AGAIN! She has photos to show us and details to describe the gloriousness that is this bike, which is pretty freaking awesome complete with three wheels and a basket. I tell her I hope that she finds her bike, or that she gets insurance to cover a new one so she can get out there and ride again, when she notices her suddenly organized trunk full of water jugs covered tightly with plastic bags. "Well that's the best organization I've ever seen! Thank you all so much for your help!"

As she fills up her McDonalds cup with water "for the ride home" while my husband pulls our 50 gallon jugs out of the car, she says, "I just love this water. It's worth the drive up here to get it. Next, I'll work up to getting those big jugs!"

I wave bye as she drives off and realize that I've forgotten about everything that frustrated me that morning. I love how I thought I was helping someone out that day only to be helped in return. I want to be that resilient, and not just when I'm eighty. Right now. This moment. Because it's literally all we have.

Have you had to practice resilience in your life? If so, what was your greatest challenge? Head down to the comments and share with us.