Friday, January 6, 2012

The Kindness of Strangers

While we were in Ohio visiting my family, the whole bunch of us went out to one of our favorite local pizza places - you know, the kind of restaurant that still doesn't take credit card but is so good that no one seems to care. The pizza was awesome and it was a lot of fun being together as an extended family of fifteen!
A picture from the road in Indiana traveling to see my family. 
While we were there, my nephew Josiah (just 2 months older than our twins)  had a major diaper blowout. For some inexplicable reason, my sister hadn't put an extra change of clothes in her diaper bag (I had to work hard to turn of the voice of judgement in my head because I KNOW that at one time or another I will forget the spare clothes as well), and our kids' clothes were much too small for Jojo's prodigious girth. So, she took him to the bathroom to remove the offending diaper and clothes and to wrap a now-naked infant in a towel.

After returning to the table and having a good laugh about her son's wardrobe malfunction, we continued eating. About five minutes later a stranger who had been in the bathroom when my sister was changing J's clothes came up to our table with a shopping bag with two brand new outfits. She had immediately exited the bathroom and gone to the grocery store to get an out fit for a stranger's child in distress. Since she didn't know Josiah's exact size, she bought two outfits.

This good samaritan wouldn't take any compensation for doing something that J's family members hadn't even thought to do (who knew you could get infant clothing in a grocery store?). I imagine that she did it as an expression of her belief in caring or generosity and only asked that when Josiah was done with the clothes that my sister donate them to someone else who needed them.

After my post yesterday about some uncomfortable run-ins with strangers, I think that putting those interactions in a larger context helps keep things in perspective. During our recent trip to the US, we encountered so many people who showed kindness to us in many ways. I want to make it my practice to take time to reflect on those acts of generosity and model similar acts for my children.


  1. What a wonderful story... :) Makes one smile, truly.

  2. This is a neat story... it makes me think about the book the Question behind the Question. it talks about looking for good in situations, and figuring out how you can make it better...

  3. This is wonderful! I love it. A good reminder that helping someone can help a lot (of others)

  4. Nice post, congrat and Best wishes to you!