Random Act of Kindness

Several years ago, I talked with a contractor who enjoyed performing what he called "random acts of kindness." It sounded like a great thing to do, but I've never been that "kind" until having experienced one such act myself. Last week, I was traveling in Oregon right next to the Columbia River and the border with Washington. The toll to get from Oregon to Washington over a bridge was 75 cents. No big deal, but as I fished out the change, the toll gate operator motioned me through saying, "The car ahead of you paid for your toll."  Cool, I thought, but before I could gesture a thank you to the driver, the generous operator and the car had disappeared. Ten minutes later, I realized what I should have done, and that was pay the toll for the car behind me. So neither am I kind, nor fast. Anyway, as one thinks about the recession, the slow-moving simulus packages, and the unemployed, there's room for acts that demonstrate both kindness and generosity. Hey, maybe that's a key to recovery. No, three quarters don't count for much, but they sure made my day, and I may have been more generous with a restaurant or two because of them. I guess the point is, we can't depend totally on the government and its financial wizards to bail us out of this mess. We can help oursleves by spreading a little economic kindness, which, in turn, will help boost our faith in fellow man and keep what money we have circulating. Rod Dickens, PRO Senior Editor