Columnist, Veronica Clark: A random slice of kindness

In a worrying world of bombs and terrorists attacks, it's refreshing when you hearabout or are rewarded with a random act of kindness.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 5th December 2015, 10:00 am
Free cake is good for the soul, if not the waitline.
Free cake is good for the soul, if not the waitline.

If everyone carried out just one kind gesture every day, then I believe the world would be a much nicer place to live. I'm also a great believer in karma. I'm convinced every time you carry out a good deed, you're not only blessed with making someone's day, but you'll be rewarded when someone does the same for you. It doesn’t even have to be a grand gesture, because usually, it’s the little and unexpected things in life that mean so much.

This thought sprang to mind when my husband, who had been at a meeting in a city centre, told me his parking had cost a whopping £20.

“How much?” I gasped.

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“I know,” he replied. “That’s exactly what I said when I got to the ticket machine."

It was at precisely that moment that a stranger had stepped forward with a random act of kindness. She had made his day by handing him a discount parking voucher, which had taken the total down to a more palatable £6.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he told me, “she didn’t have to help, but she did.”

In a week of violent terror attacks against innocent people, that one small gesture had restored his faith in human nature.

I once found a platinum wedding ring at the side of the sink, in a unisex toilet, at a busy city railway station. It was obvious the man had taken it off to wash his hands, only to have accidentally left it behind. There was no one around, so I approached a female guard and handed it over to her.

“Someone will be tearing their hair out looking for this. Could you please make sure it's returned to the rightful owner?” I asked.

The guard thanked me and promised to put it in the station safe until the owner contacted them. It'd made me feel good to think of him and the relief he felt when he realised there were still some honest people left in the world.

But it doesn't even have to be that much. When I'm at the checkout, I regularly let people with just one basket go in front of me. It’s the decent thing to do, and it’s also good manners. Whenever I do, I’m always greeted with a smile. It’s the little things that help make someone’s day.

Last year, I found a purse stuffed full of cash at Glastonbury Festival. It not only had the girl's cash card, driving licence, and all her money, it also contained her train ticket home. I immediately handed it in, hoping that one day someone would do the same for me.

Last week, my reward for allowing one stressed out mum to push ahead of me in the busy supermarket queue happened later the same day. I’d taken my daughter into town for an eyesight check-up, when we realised we still had an hour to kill. With time on our hands, we'd ventured into a well-known coffee shop and stood there debating on which cakes to choose. I spotted a particularly gorgeous slice of cake on a plate, right next to the till, so I asked the guy behind the counter what type of cake it was.

“It’s carrot cake,” he replied. “But it’s so fresh that it's fallen to pieces. You can have it for free, if you like?”

I offered to pay for it, but he was adamant.

“I’m not allowed to sell it, so just take it,” He insisted, handing me the plate.

My daughter and I had already ordered our own cakes, so we greedily ended up sharing three slices. That extra slice may not have been so good for the waistline, but it had certainly felt good for the soul.