Kindness Is Contagious

Kindness Is Contagious

From Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul

Kindness Is Contagious

The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands. . . .

Robert M. Pirsig

When I was through with my doctor’s appointment, I made my way down to the lobby. My mom was going to pick me up, but knowing how she was always late, I realized I had some time to spare. I took a seat in the lobby and smiled politely at the three elderly people sitting near me. There were two women and one old man. Then I dug into my backpack for my library book.

Just as I started to read, one of the women struck up a loud conversation with anyone who would listen. She relayed her adventures purchasing her new eyeglasses. I smiled and listened to her tale; she had a lot to say. When her husband pulled up in front of the big glass doors, her story ended abruptly. She was gone.

The old man’s ride arrived just as quickly. His daughter pulled up in a station wagon filled with kids. She burst through the doors, saying, “Pop, are you ready?” That left just me and a beautiful gray-haired woman in the lobby.

I looked directly at her. She appeared dignified, serious and stern. I thought she might be a former English teacher because she impressed me as a person with knowledge and confidence. She intentionally avoided my direct glance, but as I lifted my book to read, I could feel her eyes carefully gazing in my direction.

Concentrating on reading was impossible. My thoughts kept shifting from the beautiful gray-haired woman to thoughts of school.

Everyone was talking about graduation. The other kids had been discussing what presents to buy for each other. My face turned red at the thought. It had never occurred to me that kids bought presents for graduation. In our home, relatives bought the graduate presents, not friends. I had no money. And I couldn’t ask my parents; they hadn’t any money either. Yet I longed to be able to share with my best friends something that would help them remember our friendships, even if it was just something little.

I prayed, Oh God, help. What am I going to do?

My mind was still deep in thought when suddenly I heard a commotion at the entrance doors. There was an elderly woman in a wheelchair and another older woman trying to push her along. They were struggling with the heavy glass door. A bustling crowd too busy to help sidestepped them to get by, leaving them to struggle alone.

I jumped up to help them. It was only then that I realized the woman pushing the wheelchair could barely walk. I eased them through both sets of doors and helped them to the elevator. They thanked me, but I could see that they still had a monumental struggle ahead. They still needed to get on and off of the elevator, and into their doctor’s office safely.

I decided to ride with them on the elevator. I asked them which floor they needed, and then I made sure they found the correct office. They thanked me again. I told them it was my pleasure, and I really meant it. I was truly happy to help them.

I was on my way down in the elevator when I realized that I had left my backpack on the lobby chair. My backpack had nothing of value in it, just a wallet with fifty-nine cents in change, a small mirror, a comb and some tissues. But then I remembered that my precious library book was also on the chair.

The elevator could not go fast enough. As the doors opened, I held my breath, hoping against all hope that my backpack and library book were still there. I rushed into the lobby.

They were both safely on the chair, just as I had left them.

As I sat down, I could feel the beautiful gray-haired woman’s smiling eyes on me. She seemed proud for some reason. Then her taxi arrived, and, without a word, she was gone.

I decided to pick through my pennies to see if I had enough money to buy a package of peanuts at the little pharmacy. I opened my backpack. To my surprise, tucked neatly inside my wallet was a fifty-dollar bill!

My mind flashed to the beautiful woman with the proud look in her eye. I had been kind to a stranger, and in turn, a stranger had been kind to me. I knew that God had answered my prayer.

Kristin Seuntjens

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners