The gift that keeps on giving…

On a recent trip to Cape Cod – Chatham, Massachusetts to be exact – my family encountered an unusual behavior on the part of motorists. The first time we saw it, we thought it must be an aberration. But then it kept happening, again and again. How strange!

You might be thinking that I am referring to something deviant, but actually it was something quite lovely…

As a family of eight, we were forced to travel to, and within, Cape Cod in a very large van. I’m not talking minivan, either. I mean a real van, the big clunky kind. That was apparently our only option. At the end of the summer tourist season, traffic was heavy.

The first time I had to make a left turn onto a major artery, I dreaded the inevitable wait that would undoubtedly be required to make headway toward our destination. Where I come from, gaining access to a crowded thoroughfare often seems like an exercise in futility. So I am accustomed to waiting it out.

Then something special happened. As if Moses, himself, parted the waters, traffic on not one but both sides of the road abruptly stopped to let me enter. What?

This phenomenon repeated itself, over and over again, throughout the course of our one-week stay. Amazing how quickly one can feel like royalty from just a few mere kind gestures. Funny how I found myself feeling compelled to reciprocate this same behavior on behalf of other motorists each time the opportunity presented itself, feeling good about it each and every time. How in the world will I ever get used to being back home again?!

Aw, random acts of kindness! How easy it is to talk the talk. The question is: Do we walk the walk? The possibilities to help out others are virtually limitless. Let me count the ways.

Give the elderly driver in front of you plenty of space, knowing that some day it will be your turn to need it.

Allow the person with the single item go in front of you at the grocery store.

Pick up the tab for the uniformed police officer standing in line for coffee.

Compliment your waitress right in front of manager that you have asked her to see.

On just any old day, send a card to a loved one telling them how much they mean to you.

Hold the door for someone at the restaurant, even if it means they might get seated in front of you.

Living life like this quickly becomes a habit, a deeply enjoyable one at that. Just as I returned the kindnesses bestowed upon me to others in Cape Cod, all acts of kindness can become gifts that keep on giving. Simply giving for the sake of giving is a simple pleasure anyone can experience. Pass it on!

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