Language and Culture Study Abroad and Exchange

How an ice cream restored my faith in the kindness of humanity

Icecream in a cup with waffle

The perfect stranger;

Jenni’s Ice creamery, Nashville TN 8:52 19th May 2K16

It was our last night in Nashville after a massive week exploring, embracing the unique culture and lapping up the country music and numerous live gigs. To celebrate we decided to get one of the local ice-creams just as the shop was closing. After a little flavour procrastination and managing to try every flavour in the store the staff took our order. I was a little confused when I tried giving the waitress my card to pay as she stared blankly back at me, she then told me that the gentlemen that had just left had paid for our ice-cream as she thought he was in our company. Caught up in the excitement of the flavours I didn’t even notice the customer who happened to shout us and leave without a whisper, this really finished our trip on a high note!

I was unbelievably humbled by the kindness of this complete stranger, it really struck me that it takes nothing to be a good person and completely change someone’s day. It’s often the small things in life that really mean the most. Even if it’s something that makes you laugh, smile or just feel connected.

First insight to theory of random acts of kindness

I’ve had a few random encounters with the kindness of strangers but the most memorable is 3 years ago. I was traveling in Europe and I found a note with some kind and humble words that really touched me and ever since then when I get the right opportunity I like to leave something for fate to put into the perfect stranger’s hands. People become so caught up in their own agenda we often forget how many people there are around us and how disconnected we have become, so it’s a quirky opportunity to make someone’s day. Whether it’s some kind words, jokes, puns, lollies or a flower!

Threaten to disrobe?

Sitting in a café in Vermont in upstate New York, I was looking at the wall and happened to notice that in the holes of the wood there were small pieces of screwed up paper. There were various notes with jokes, quotes, tasks and drawings which were so awesome. The one pictured below I actually showed the barista, I didn’t get a free beer or disrobe but we both got a good laugh out of it. Everyone that was sitting on the table commented on how entertaining it was finding the notes and how cool an experience it was thinking about the people that have sat and done the same and able to leave our own contribution as well.

Message found in cafe wall

In return for the giggles I got out of the notes hidden in the wall, I left what I call “one on me”: $5 wrapped up in paper, a stubby coaster, some humble words and my favourite piece of advice that it’s 5’oclock somewhere!

Have you performed a random act of kindness? Share in the comments ??

– Brianna


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