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Random acts of kindness

(65 Posts)
lizzypopbottle Wed 21-Aug-19 15:45:40

Random acts of kindness, if carried out frequently, are said to be good for us but how hard does it have to be? Today, I pushed my trolley token into the slot at the trolley park outside Morrison's. There was a lady nearby, rummaging in her purse, who clearly was not going to find a £1 coin in amongst all the copper coins. I offered her a pound from my own purse and she was very grateful. That would have been enough for me but she insisted on rooting out the same amount of change to pay me back. I tried:

"No, really it's OK..." Rummage, rummage...50p
"Honestly, one day you'll see me (or someone else) without a coin and you'll help them out!"
Rattle, scrape...10p
"Truly, random acts of kindness are a reward in themselves! Let me do this!" Root, rummage...5p Ahah! 20p

So, I came away with 85p which I put in the air ambulance collection inside the supermarket and a feeling that maybe I hadn't really helped. I know that people of this lady's generation (probably in her 80s) have a horror of debt and owing but I really wish she could've just accepted the £1 with thanks and a smile.

Anyone else been rejected in this way?

Liz46 Wed 21-Aug-19 15:48:15

I don't think it was a rejection as such. I think I would have felt as though I should give you money too. It was kind of you but she might have felt awkward taking your money.

I can see both points of view.

Anniebach Wed 21-Aug-19 15:51:40

It wasn’t rejection, she accepted the £1 and am sure she was grateful

gillybob Wed 21-Aug-19 15:57:36

Well not rejected as such lizzypopbottle but almost.

I have put a few bits n' bobs on Freecycle this last week and one of my items was a full drum of fence paint (not the same colour as the one I am using at the moment). Within a few minutes of posting it on the site I got a message from a man who asked if he might have it and could he collect on Monday evening? Yes and yes.

Well he turned up spot on time and was much older than I thought he would be (at least mid 80's) . After chatting for ages at the door I suggested lifting the huge drum into the boot of his car which he refused at first but then agreed after he had tried to lift it.

Once safely in the boot I asked if there was someone who could help him at the other end and he said he thought a young neighbour would help.

He then proceeded to try and push a £10 note in my hand. I obviously refused and he became insistent saying "I don't believe in getting nowt for nowt, I want you to take this". I explained that the whole idea of FREEcycle is that everything is FREE and he seemed quite taken aback saying "you mean anyone can have anything for free.....oh I had no idea, I bet you thought I was so cheeky for asking for the fence paint?" Oh dear, he just didn't get it poor thing.

EllanVannin Wed 21-Aug-19 16:05:14

I'm sure she'd have been as shocked/surprised at your kindness as you were when you found her rummaging for the amount.? I too can see both sides as I wouldn't be expecting ow't for now't

Oldandverygrey Wed 21-Aug-19 16:06:58

Lizzy - although it was a kind act on your part, I think I would have rummaged in pockets, purse, bag etc., to make up a pound to repay you.

Nonnie Wed 21-Aug-19 16:11:58

I have lots of lovely freecycle stories too, it seems to attract the nicest people. I always wait a day or so before deciding who to give something to because I think the only people who can spend all day looking at it must be dealers! A couple of years ago I saw a particularly striking art easel on offer and then a few days after I am pretty sure the same thing was on the forecort of the junk dealer!

I think some find it hard to accept gifts and kindness. If I am offered a seat on the bus I always accept unless there is someone who looks like they need it. It is kind to show appreciation when someone offers help.

On another post someone said they always smile at everyone they pass, that's another act of kindness which goes down well.

So many small things we can all do day by day to help others and, actually, it makes us feel good to do it.

lizzypopbottle Wed 21-Aug-19 16:28:44

Well, yes indeed, under similar circumstances I would have said, 'Let me give you the change,' but if that was refused over and over, I think I'd give in gracefully and allow the giver her pleasure in a kind gesture.

gillybob Wed 21-Aug-19 17:04:38

On another post someone said they always smile at everyone they pass

I try to do this too Nonnie but fear that some people might just think I’m batty !

CaroDane Wed 21-Aug-19 18:03:44

Oh lizzy never heard of the saying, no good deed goes unpunished? smile

annsixty Wed 21-Aug-19 18:07:20

I still don't know what that means.
I have asked many times and no-one comes up with an explanation.

CaroDane Wed 21-Aug-19 18:12:45

annsixty it's when you try to do someone a favour but it all goes wrong and you wish you hadn't bothered.
For example - years ago my OH offered to take an elderly neighbour (younger than us now) to the airport after listening to her tale of woe regarding airport taxis etc. It was supposed to be at 3 in the afternoon the following week. Lo and behold the flying fairy waves her magic wand and neighbour rings up to say its now 6AM the day after the original flight. And she has to be there two hours ahead.
See what I mean now?

merlotgran Wed 21-Aug-19 18:21:52

Over the years I have accumulated quite a few tokens for supermarket trolleys - usually from a charity donation. I once offered one to an elderly lady who, like Lizzy's lady was rummaging in her purse. She recoiled in horror as though I was attempting some sort of illegal money laundering scam. I told her I had plenty more which only made things worse but at least she didn't call the manager. grin

CaroDane Wed 21-Aug-19 18:31:20

Many years ago, over fifty in fact, I worked in the Post Office. A woman was complaining at the counter over the cost of having her cat spayed. Trying to be helpful as I stamped her pension book I told her how the RSPCA at that time were giving vouchers to OAPs to help in such circumstances. She fixed me with a baleful stare and only then did I realise I was cashing her Family Allowance. sad

Fennel Wed 21-Aug-19 19:23:30

"random acts of kindness are a reward in themselves! "
Good point, OP.
eg who has heard this?
“The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes".

Barmeyoldbat Wed 21-Aug-19 19:26:05

I was at a checkout with just 3 small items I needed and found I had forgot my purse, in was in my other bag. The lovely lady next to me, a Jamaican, offered to pay. I was so embarrassed I said no but she insisted laughing in that lovely deep voice that they have and said it could happen to her one day and she hoped someone would do the same for her. I accepted and we left as friends.

Barmeyoldbat Wed 21-Aug-19 19:29:08

Gilly I am always smiling at strangers, maybe thats why my gc call me Barmey

Harris27 Wed 21-Aug-19 19:42:10

Aw your posts are lovely. I was so proud of my son one night as called in to see me. He said sorry he was late but he’d just helped an old lady of the bus struggling with shopping. He then told me he’d took the shopping right to her door a few streets down i was quietly proud!

Lessismore Wed 21-Aug-19 19:47:27

I think I might do random acts of nastiness like The Dame Judi Dench sketches ( Tracey Ullman).

CaroDane Wed 21-Aug-19 20:12:19

Lessismore think I'll follow your bad example. I might as well embarrass my children by becoming a nasty old cow smile

BradfordLass72 Wed 21-Aug-19 20:29:06

I've noticed over the years that people just don't know how to accept kindness and generosity with grace.

"Oh, you shouldn't have..."
"No, it's all right, I'll manage..." when clearly they will not.

And so much more, as if the receiver is determined to devalue the gift and the giver. They don't mean to but that's the result.

So I know how lizzypopbottle was made to feel and now I smile and say, 'Oh, thank you, how kind of you.'

Or some other positive phrase meant to allow the giver to feel as they deserve.

MawB Thu 22-Aug-19 00:25:21

I’ve always smiled at the saying
“No good deed goes unpunished” grin

Grandma2213 Thu 22-Aug-19 00:46:18

A couple of weeks ago I was returning to a car park which happens to be up quite a short steep hill. A lady behind me was clearly struggling with her shopping so I offered to carry some of her bags for her. She refused but then talked all the way up the hill about all her ailments and her sad life. She was probably about 20 + years younger than I am. Some people just want someone to talk to and listening costs nothing , except time maybe.

Pantglas1 Thu 22-Aug-19 08:23:04

Merchant of Venice, Fennel! O level English Lit circa 1971 never-to-be-forgotten!

I’m always appreciative when someone offers help and accept with a heartfelt thank you, even if I can actually manage whatever it is myself. I think it’s the offer rather than the actual deed that’s important isn’t it? Someone’s heart is in the right place.

Beckett Thu 22-Aug-19 10:17:44

You never know how much a small act will mean to someone.

I was in the supermarket a little while ago and saw a lady struggling to reach something on the top shelf of the freezer cabinet - I offered to get it for her. After we had a short chat about nothing in general and as I moved away she said "Thank you - you are the first person I have spoken to in over a week"