Over the span of our lives, we have all borne witness to the devastation that natural disasters and other mass related deaths can leave behind.
Due to the availability of today’s social media, we’ve been able to watch many of these tragedies unfold from the comforts of our living room. We’re able to listen to and catalog just about every harrowing detail of each publicized tragedy. Many of us find solace in the acts of kindness from strangers that seem to emerge during these distressing catastrophic events.
While it always inspires me to hear stories about the innate goodness of others who lend a helping hand during a crisis, I am also amazed by the kindness that so many people offer for the smaller, less critical, everyday things in life. Graciously letting someone cut ahead of you in line or offering to help carry someone’s groceries who seems to be struggling is simple kindness without expectation…just because.
In my corner of the Universe, I recently had some acts of kindness come my way from strangers during a very non-critical, utterly ordinary, yet frustrating time.
Here’s what happened:
I ordered a chair online. The day of its expected delivery it was pouring rain. I made a point of being home all day perched at my living room window so I could see when my chair was delivered. I didn’t want my chair to spend any unnecessary time out in the elements. As it got closer to 5:00pm I became concerned.
I then checked my email and noticed that FedEx sent a confirmation that my chair had already been delivered to my front door hours ago…whaatt???!! I threw open the door and walked up and down my walkway several times to make sure that somehow, I didn’t miss a 60lb box that had been delivered.
It wasn’t there ☹.
I even drove around the neighborhood for a while hoping it was sitting on someone’s front stoop. Nope.
I then called Wayfair (the online company that I ordered the chair from) and spent what seemed like an eternity with the nicest representative I’ll never meet. Her name was Corinne. Corinne listened very patiently to my frustration and helped me process two major possibilities: my chair was either delivered to the wrong address and the recipients decided not to call and report it or my chair was lost and abandoned out there somewhere.
We kibitzed about the moral compass of anyone who would keep a purchase that did not belong to them and also how hard it was to accept the error of a delivery guy who continued to claim that he delivered my chair to the right address. Corinne and I shared stories about how hard it can be sometimes to let go and move on. She understood. She got me.
A new chair was then ordered (no charge to me) and was due to arrive within two weeks.
Meanwhile, I couldn’t shake the feeling that my original chair was somehow nearby. On a hunch, I called the realtor who’s in charge of the new condo complex next to me and asked if my chair had been delivered there by any chance.
And it was.
It was waiting patiently for me on the porch of their front office. Delivered to the wrong address. The realtor hadn’t been there all week and was not aware it was there until I called.
I happily walked over and was greeted warmly by a crew of workers who endearingly call themselves the “Dirt Crew”. Without any hesitation, they offered to load my chair into the back of their truck and drive it over since there was no way I could get it over to my house by myself.
They would not take any money for their time or efforts. Just an act of kindness for a stranger.
I cancelled the order for my new chair and was told it had already traveled to Arizona and was on its way to Massachusetts. I felt badly that it might have been catching some nice rays in such a warm place ( Maria daSilva’s comment )
but my loyalty was to my original chair…
So, why did I write a blog about a lost chair?
Simply because the kindness of Corinne and the Dirt Crew are great examples of the innate goodness that ordinary people can offer in ordinary ways and make a big difference.
The kindness from strangers is not usually planned out. It can arrive in unexpected forms with no way to pay them back but with a heartfelt thank you. Spontaneous generosity of someone’s time and effort toward a stranger speaks volumes of their character and their heart…their response to someone’s vulnerability.
I’ll end with a big thank you to all the Corinnes and Dirt Crew helpers out there!
Thank You for reading,
M.Ed., Mental Health Counselor, Life Coach, Advanced Certified Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master and Author of eBook, Finding Happiness Even Without a Fairy Tale Childhood