Random Acts of Kindness – yes, please!



It was a stressful week; honestly, when is it not a stressful week if you’re a mom with bipolar who’s parenting young children, plus house-training a new puppy? Nevertheless, there were some highlights which got me to thinking about the beauty of kindness.

Last week I visited two places to buy lunch and a treat.  The first spot was Salsa’s, a Mexican restaurant/drive-through.  Although I loathe drive-throughs like the snob that I am, I genuinely like Salsa’s.  While there are a ton of excellent Mexican dining spots in Santa Cruz County, Salsa’s works for me.  The restaurant is close to home and I like the fact that it’s a drive-through.  As I’ve had Lucy puppy join me on errands whenever possible both to quell my anxiety and ease her separation anxiety, Salsa’s drive-through element appealed to me

One late afternoon I was starving as I had foolishly skipped lunch.  My girls were at a friend’s house, so Lucy and I headed over to Salsa’s.  I ordered a carnitas plate and a large horchata. This was an indulgent lunch because their carnitas is as fried as fried gets.  After ordering, I drove to the pick-up window in my old, dirty Suburu.  

The young employee recognized me from a few prior visits.  When she spotted Lucy, extra-fluffy from a recent bath, she oohed and ahhed.  Another employee came up to the window and told me tearfully of the passing of her dog and how they had shared a bed for years.  She complimented Lucy lavishly, and of course I took full credit as if I birthed the furry beast myself.

The first young lady staffer returned to tell me what I owed.  I gave her my debit card without a second thought, for I was sure I had over fifty dollars in my account.  When she ran the card twice and then told me that it didn’t go through, I freaked out and felt embarrassed.  What check did I bounce?  I thought in horror.  I dug frantically in my purse because I knew I had a bit of cash hiding somewhere.  I came up with some bills but was a few dollars short.

By this point I was “bonked out” – feeling weak from hunger.  It was my own fault for not carrying an energy bar or some other snack with me.  

I apologized profusely to the employee, expecting her to say “See ya!”  She completely surprised me by saying, “Don’t worry about it!”  I think that the sight of Lucy making puppy eyes at her influenced her to be kind.

This sort of thing just doesn’t happen to me anymore, so I felt very happy.  My faith in humankind was restored for the rest of the day.

The next day, however, my warm and fuzzy feelings about the world-at-large vanished.  I was in our driveway getting the mail.  Craig had just returned home from doing errands in Santa Cruz.  I walked by his car and spotted a neon pink post-it on the dashboard with neat handwriting, and I was nosy curious about its contents.  Here’s what it contained:

 “I live in the alcove above the parking lot where I saw someone rear-end your car.  Here’s the make/color and license plate number.”

I gasped.  Then I looked at the bumper; half of it was marked with brand-new scratches.  It wasn’t major damage, but it was enough to warrant repair. I fumed.  Unfortunately I let out a few extremely loud, super-offensive curses that I won’t repeat here.  I hope none of my conservative neighbors heard me.

Actually, some of my warm ‘n fuzzy feelings remained because I appreciated that someone took the time to write the note and leave it.   But I still felt pissed at the perpetrator!  I went to talk to Craig about the hit & run. Craig is the mellow one in the family (thank God) and he was going to let the whole thing go.  

I wanted justice to be served, however, so I called the non-emergency line of the sheriff’s department and I got a really helpful sheriff on the line.   He took the case seriously and Craig decided to report the incident to him.  I now know the name and address of the person who hit our car.  He lives one town away from us.  I’ll sheepishly admit to you that I looked him up on Facebook, but I held back from sending a message that would only serve to incriminate me, and cause me to sink to his level.  Our insurance company will handle it from this point on.

Last week’s third highlight took place when I ran over to Masood’s Ben Lomond Mini Mart, an unassuming market is five minutes away from our house.  I went there to purchase two pints of ice cream.  Masood sells a great selection of flavors including locally made Marianne’s ice cream and the biggies: Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen Dazs.  As he rang me up (Haagen Dazs mint chip and Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food) I was short by two dollars.  As Masood has a reputation for being a rather shrewd businessman, I expected him to tell me to put one pint back.  He took one look at my sad face, and told me to pay him another time.  Once again, I was full of bonhomie!  Life was good.


I topped off the week with my own act of kindness, apart from refraining from stalking the guy who hit our car.  A house down the street from ours sold a week ago, and I decided to be a one-woman welcome wagon.  I bought a card and cute “Can of Daisy Seeds” (CVS, $1.99) and put them in a bag.  I signed the card welcoming the new owner to the neighborhood and included my email and phone number.  I left the bag in her mailbox as I didn’t want to show up unannounced on her doorstep — my social anxiety is still vicious.  

After the hellish years of bipolar depression where I focused on misery and hopelessness, it has felt good to be a little bit thoughtful, especially with a stranger.  (Forget about family members or friends!  Just kidding!) I’ve always loved stories about random acts of kindness, such as folks paying tolls for cars behind them, or treating someone standing in line for a coffee drink.  

Since, as you can probably infer from this post that I’m not made of money, I don’t do these sorts of financial acts of kindness.  But maybe I will venture out this summer to spread a little kindness of my own to others.  I’m not sure what I would do, exactly. Feed parking meters about to expire?  Nah!  (In some places I think it’s even illegal to do that!) Give a dollar to every busker along Pacific Avenue?  That would be truly kind, but I’d need a lot of money because there are a ton of buskers on this popular pedestrian avenue during the summer.

Thanks to the internet there is a Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website complete with a list of kindness suggestions and great quotes, etc.  Here’s the link:


I’ll let you know if I go for it, and what happens!  That will be a fun post to write…

In the meantime, thanks for being kind enough to read my blog.  You’ve done a random act of kindness of your very own in sticking through to the end of this post.  :)))

Take care, dear readers!

kind regards,



“The best part of life is not just surviving,

but thriving with passion and compassion and

humor and style and generosity and kindness.”

—Maya Angelou







30 thoughts on “Random Acts of Kindness – yes, please!

  1. hee hee hee – no – but I **dare**** you to use all or some of that $10 and do something nice for a stranger!!!! (I’ll just raid the girls’ piggy banks – I’m joking. Really!!!)

    For ideas scroll down the Random Acts of Kindness link – there are some rather wacky ones there; it’s kinda fun to see what they recommend – there are a ton of suggestions!


  2. I usually use my credit card for everything (especially drive-thrus), but then that means I have absolutely HUGE credit card bills to pay. 🙂

    Have to go check out the Random Acts of Kindness website.

    Thanks for the post. Thanks for sharing your humanity with us, for that is truly an act of kindness. Not so random, though, as you have quite the discipline to do so regularly and generously.

    • Kitt, this comment of yours really made me feel happy. Thank you for recognizing the kindness in me – it’s there. It just gets tamped down by anger, negativity and all those other bugaboos I can’t stand.

      Having friends like you in my corner for support and encouragement is (I can’t believe I’m actually writing this) better than high-quality chocolate!!!!!


      • I believe your closing statement is sacrilegious. I won’t tell anyone. Which reminds me, I have to go buy some dark chocolate to replenish my now eaten supply.

      • This reply made me laugh! I wish I preferred dark choco. since it’s healthier, but I’m a milk chocolate girl. I still will accept any and all contributions of good dark chocolate, though. Just sayin’! 😉

      • I used to eat milk chocolate, but have trained my palate to enjoy dark. One problem with dark, though, is that it has more caffeine, and I’m sensitive to caffeine.

  3. This post makes me smile! I’m so glad you didn’t have to give back the fried food and ice cream! The other day I bonked before going to dinner at someone’s house and started stuffing my face right when I got there. A little embarrassing – but thankfully they were nice about it, seeing that I had skipped lunch!

    • When I read your comment, Doreen, I cracked up because you noticed two of my fave food choices (fried food & ice cream) – now you know why I’m not losing weight even though I work out almost daily! :0

      Yeah, if I had to give back the food (ice cream’s a food, right?) I would have been *mega-bummed* & I’m sure both cashiers sensed that I was on the edge of a huge bonkfest hissy fit. I hope that wherever you went for dinner the other night, they had healthier food for you to stuff your face with than what I gorged upon! 🙂

      Thanks for swinging by & reading! I always love your comments….xo

  4. I have several experiences with strangers placing details of a fender-bender who has done a hit and run. This one is slightly different: Way back when I was in primary school, Mum’s car was hit and the guy came into the milk bar and handed over his details. When he left, Miriam the shopkeeper asked to see the details which upon seeing them she commented that it was not his real details. So she gave us his proper name and a visit to the police station provided his real address. Dad then got involved and went to visit the guy and got the payment for the repairs.
    In the early 1990’s I was on holidays in Queensland with a mate and we went to a beach. When we came back to the car, there was a note on it saying that they had seen people breaking into my car and chased them off and also provided the registration of the car. The left hand door handle and lock had been almost ripped out. As they left a phone number, I contacted them and offered threm a small reward. He declined and said he did what he hoped people would do if placed in those circumstances.
    And I have also done the same thing, many years later. It was in a large shopping mall car park and someone sideswiped a vehicle driving into a park. Upon seeing the dame, the driver wrote out a note and placed it on the cars windscreen. What piqued my curiosity was that the driver then drove off. This set off alarm bells, as why would you leave if you had provided your details? So I checked the note and saw that false details had been left and added my own note with the correct car registration details.
    There are some decent people out there and there are some real wankers.

    • Wow, Glenn, you really have been through the school of “hit & run” wankers!!! (A PhD. in “Wankology”? Yeah, I know how bad that sounds!)

      I’m glad you also saw the better side of human nature too! I’m sure there has been numerous kinds of social studies experiments done about this topic. Unfortunately sometimes when I’m feeling jaded, it seems there are more wankers compared to the number of decent people in the world…I could be wrong & I hope I’m wrong…but at least we have people like you spread out throughout the world! Thank God!

      • Hey Dy, but at the end of the day, that’s what car insurance is for! cheers, Glenn

      • Hey Dy, at the end of the day that’s what car insutance is for! I try to keep things in perspective in that there are not more wankers than decent people, it’s just that the ignorant wankers are far more vocal and their extreme actions ensure that we notice and remember them more. Ironically, they may lack the insight to see their behaviours as being offensive or contrary to accepted community standards.

    • Thanks so much, Sharon! It’s so nice to have you back on the ‘net – I love having you stop by this blog…take good care today! 🙂

      • I love your blog. And I am happy to be back. My 93 year old mother-in-law is stabilized in the nursing home after quite a transition. I am hoping she is okay for a while so I can get my energy back before the next crisis!

      • I hope your mother-in-law remains stable for as long as possible, Sharon – what an ordeal for you. When that kind of crisis occurs I know that self-care often becomes an afterthought, so please take extra-good care of yourself. I have you in my prayers!

    • Hi there Anubrat, and thank you so much for reading my blog! I agree with you 100% about love, kindness & compassion being essential elements of life – and I’ll do my best to stay blessed. You too, okay? I send my best wishes to you! Dyane 🙂

    • Thanks, bipolaraftermath – it’s so awesome having you read my blog & comment, and I’m so glad I found yours as well. Take care & hang in there, okay? 😉 Dyane

  5. Dyane, love this post! I used to do random acts of kindness all the time! Paying for someone’s coffee, paying for a toll – can’t afford it now that I’m on disability and haven’t done it in ages, but now you’ve got me all excited to start doing it again. It really takes so little and it can make someone’s day. Thanks for this boost. Heading over to the website now, and I’ll be thinking of some of my own new ways to do this. ❤

    • Hi Susan! That is SO cool you used to do random acts of kindness!!!! I understand the limited income situation all too well. I still haven’t taken the plunge at my coffee shop yet. The fancy drinks cost a lot, as you know….I guess I’ll just tell the barista to wait until someone orders a regular coffee ($2-ish) and then say “Someone has paid for you!” I might do that tomorrow with my daughter, who will LOVE such an adventure. I’ll report back! :)))

      Take care and let me know when you get the chance to do a little something. :))))))))))) xoxo

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  7. I freakin’ love this post! I apologise for being a little late of the mark. Sometimes I feel that people forget there are always more good people in the world than bad, and seeing a post like this really shows how a seemingly small act of kindness can mean so much to someone! I did my own little act of kindness and made a video which I would love for you to check out if you have the time (hopefully the link I’ve stuck at the bottom of this comment will work) 🙂 as always, thank you so much for sharing!

    • No apologies needed! 🙂 It’s just great to read your comment. OMG – I just watched your video and it was so beautiful! I almost cried a little. You’re incredible. Can I share it with my Facebook friends? You did such a wonderful thing, Rachel – it’s an honor to know you.

      • I would absolutely love for you to share it with your Facebook friends! I’m so glad you liked it 🙂 It really means so much to hear such praise from you, I can’t thank you enough!

      • YAY! I’m going to share it with a Facebook group I belong to that you may like to join, actually – it’s call MH Bloggers (Mental Health Bloggers) and there are many bloggers there who have bipolar.

        Once again, you did such a fabulous thing. I’m going to show it to my little girls later on when they are home. You’re a great example for them.


        Here’s the address – the group creator Cristi is a wonderful person! https://www.facebook.com/groups/MHBlogs/

      • Thank you so much! I’ve just requested to join the group, it looks like a fantastic space for bloggers. It puts a big smile on my face that you think it’s worth showing to your girls, and an even bigger smile to be called a great example 🙂 you’ve made my day, my week, and probably my whole year! xxx

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