So, I am out the other night with my brother and his family. We are having a great time, stuffing our face with the finest Outback has to offer and enjoying some quality time together. I am tired from a long week packed full of critical projects and just want to “veg” with the family. About half way through our meal, an older gentleman is seated alone at a booth in my direct sightline. Every time I look at my family I am staring right at him. He appears to be a very pleasant man, smiling with the waitress and just enjoying watching the activity in the restaurant. 

As we continue to eat and enjoy our family time, something in me can not help but wonder about this man. He appears to be a local – clearly not a tourist or poor business traveler who is stuck here overnight. Questions races in my head… Why is this guy alone at Outback on Friday night? Where are his friends? Where is his family? Why did he choose Outback? How in the world did he get seated right in my sightline?  

CROSSROADAs we begin to leave, I can not stop thinking of this man. Honestly, I tried. The kids (2 years old, 1 year old 3 months) are ready to go. We have been there forever. But I can’t walk away. So, I do something I have never done before….I ask a server if I can pay for this man’s meal. The waiter is shocked, my wife is surprised, my brother asks what is going on. I reach for my wallet and realize my check card and credit card are both home…crossroad… Take the easy road and tell the waiter forget it? Dig a little deeper and get my spare check card out of the diaper bag? Do what I know I am supposed to do or just walk away? After 5 seconds (that feels like an hour) of internal TNA wrestling, I make the choice to live out a Random Act of Kindness. The waiter asks “Do you know him?” I answer “Nope. Just want to do something nice.” 

OUT OF THE BOXWe finish up and walk out. I never say a word to this man. My wife gets in the car and says “You have never done that before.” She is right. I have bought meals for friends and family, but this is completely different and out of the box. I am nothing special and almost never posted this blog, for fear of the “better than you syndrome;” however, I thought it was important to tell my struggle in hopes of inspiring just one person. 

Movies have been made about this, many people have talked about it, but the concept does not sink into until you act. It does not have to be a monetary thin. Just take a chance and do something nice for someone else. No reason. No expected return. Just a moment out of your busy schedule to be kind.  

TAKE ACTIONMy ultimate hope for this life is to do something significant that makes an impact. Significance is defined as “having or likely to have a major effect,” but it starts with a first step. Too many times we remain caught up in ourselves that we neglect opportunities to make the lives of others better. This week take a chance and proactive some Random Act of Kindness.