corporate re-education is so fun!

Random acts of kindness

Some time ago I went to McDonalds. There was a couple in another car ahead of me ordering at the speaker. Not just any car, mind you, but a brand new Mustang. I didn't think much of it and proceeded to pull up to place my order. Then I pulled around to the next window and had to wait for the couple in the Mustang to get their food. After they drove off I pulled up, $5 bill in my hand, ready to pay. However, when the cashier opened the window they just handed me my food and drink without asking for payment or even taking the $5 I was trying to hand them. The cashier stated that the couple ahead of me had already paid my bill. I couldn't believe it. I asked the cashier if she new them. She said that she had never seen them before.

Anyone else been the victim random acts of kindness?
Permalink Dave B. 
August 15th, 2005
Did it happen on a friday?
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 15th, 2005
I have been randomly kind to dozens of people at various times. I cannot recall a single instance of anyone ever being randomly kind to me.

I have been the victim of regular kindness, or solicited kindness, but never random kindness.
Permalink muppet 
August 15th, 2005
> I have been randomly kind to dozens of people at various times. I cannot recall a single instance of anyone ever being randomly kind to me.

This statement might be the perfect litmus test for self-centeredness.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 15th, 2005
+++This statement might be the perfect litmus test for self-centeredness.+++

How do you figure, Jeff? I never claimed that a consequence of my random kindness should be random kindness visited unto me in return. I just said that I don't think it has happened. It's an observation, free of subjective opinion. I know you're looking for something, but it's not there. It's your own projection.

I think that the ability to find subjective thought in an objective statement may be a litmus test for bigotry and a judgemental/self-righteous attitude.
Permalink muppet 
August 15th, 2005
Muppet, you are completely concious and eager to share how kind you are, but you have so little gratitude that you fail to appreciate the little things that happen in life all the time.

There are plenty of kind people out there who make frequent little sacrifices for others. Most times they'll never get recognition or credit for it, but they don't care one bit. These people also don't have trouble seeing what's good and kind in others.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 15th, 2005
s/consious/conscious of
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 15th, 2005
+++Muppet, you are completely concious and eager to share how kind you are, but you have so little gratitude that you fail to appreciate the little things that happen in life all the time.

There are plenty of kind people out there who make frequent little sacrifices for others. Most times they'll never get recognition or credit for it, but they don't care one bit. These people also don't have trouble seeing what's good and kind in others.+++

Jeffy, sweetie, finding the good in other people and being a recipient of random kindness are completely different animals. I recognize the good in plenty of people. Throughout my childhood and in my adult life I have received kindness from parents, relatives, doctors (very often doctors, since I spent most of my young life in the hospital), scout masters, police officers, cashiers, bus drivers, janitors... many very friendly and very helpful people, but not randomly kind in the way described by the OP.

Your soapbox has a hole in it, baby, careful or you'll hurt yourself.
Permalink muppet 
August 15th, 2005
--"Anyone else been the victim random acts of kindness?"--
No, never of this type. They were indeed kind people.
Permalink Another poster... 
August 15th, 2005
"I think that the ability to find subjective thought in an objective statement may be a litmus test for bigotry and a judgemental/self-righteous attitude."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Man, you crack me up...
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 15th, 2005
Thank you for that insightful and incisive analysis, MatColm Halloconner.
Permalink muppet 
August 15th, 2005
I once walked in to a London undergound station near Piccadilly circus, late at night, and asked for directions to King's Cross station. The ticket collector told me "It's a long way", and when I replied that I'd just walked in from Hammersmith he gave a ticket for free.
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 15th, 2005
Oh please, muppet. You already know how telling of a worldview this is:

"I am often randomly kind to others. No one is *ever* randomly kind to me."

You are dripping with the bitterness you have against a life which has been so unfair to you. ;-)
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 15th, 2005
You already know he can't see that.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 15th, 2005
Jeff (Aaron?):

That's what you see, and that's fine I guess, but none of that was in my statement. If you want to make inferences based upon... whatever you're basing it upon, then that's your perogative.

I never lamented the unfairness of life. I said that objectively, I can't recall receiving random kindness. I also said that I've given it. If you find these statements selfish, then I wonder about your own worldviews and prejudices, they seem terribly cynical and dark.
Permalink muppet 
August 15th, 2005
boo hoo, i only get regular and solicited kindness, never random. boo hoo...
Permalink Kenny 
August 15th, 2005
I don't necessarily believe it to be selfish, but I think I've already stated how it seems to me that you appear to be blaming a lot of your life on bad luck.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 15th, 2005
Jeff (Aaron),

Only muppet is empathic and wise enough to infer motivations and feeling based on statements. When anyone else does it, they are just being a moron!
Permalink duh 
August 15th, 2005
I once gave my car (in good condition) to a stranger who needed a car.
Permalink Scott 
August 15th, 2005
"I have been the victim of regular kindness, or solicited kindness, but never random kindness." -- muppet.

Thanks, muppet, somehow I guessed this would be the case. Your choice of the word "victim" here is curious, though.

Personally, I've had many kind things happen to me -- the time I was stranded on a highway and somebody stopped to give me a lift being most memorable right now. I don't know that I would harp on the 'random' nature too much. I find it MUCH more helpful when people are kind when I'm in desperate need of it.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 15th, 2005
Taking a cab home once from the studio, we got a call that our drummer (in a different cab, but from the same company) had paid our cab fare. I was at dinner once with some people, and when the friend of one of the people I was with walked in, he told the waitress that he would be paying their bill too.

I'm not sure how random these are, but it was kind. I'm sure the kind of thing that happened to the OP has happened to me, or that I've done the same, but I don't really remember the incidents.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 15th, 2005
I didn't say selfish either. I said self-centered. I'm arguing that you aren't kind. I'm not even arguing that maybe you get the short end a lot. But you've made it completely clear yourself (and not just in this thread) that you keep some record of it all; you seem to marvel at how you're constantly getting screwed.

I can remember receiving random acts of kindness from strangers. But even if I couldn't, I *know* there are probably more instances where people were kind and I was oblivious to it.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 15th, 2005
Chi! I am sorry.
Not:
--"They were indeed kind people."--
But:
They were indeed kind.
Permalink Another poster... 
August 15th, 2005
s/I'm arguing/ I'm *not* arguing

Hello, Dr. Freud.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 15th, 2005
Isn't muppet the guy who several people on this board, never having met him, donated a bunch of money to him when he said he needed some money to make ends meet?
Permalink passerby 
August 15th, 2005
I spent a summer during college working as a toll collector. It was very common for people to pay double their toll for the car behind them. Of course, given the character of the people I worked with, it's probably a safe bet that most of that extra toll money ended up in the pockets of the toll collectors rather than paying for the next car.

Occasionally, a family would come through my lane and give me a can of soda or an ice cream truck driver would give me free ice cream. Those were always nice on a hot day.
Permalink SomeBody 
August 15th, 2005
Yeah, "passerby", we did give money to muppet.

But you see, that wasn't "random", he asked for it. Thus it doesn't count for this survey. In his mind, anyway.

On the other hand, at the time we had no idea who he was, except some "random" guy having an amazing run of bad luck. So to us, it might have been "random".

All depends on how you look at it, doesn't it?
Permalink AllanL5 
August 15th, 2005
Passerby, what part of "I have been the victim of regular kindness, or solicited kindness, but never random kindness." didn't you undersatnd? Moron. ;-)

(Does randomly defending muppet in an internet forum count?)
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 15th, 2005
"Isn't muppet the guy who several people on this board, never having met him, donated a bunch of money to him when he said he needed some money to make ends meet?"

That wasn't random. We hoped it would make him go away.
Permalink Crazy Old Guy 
August 15th, 2005
"Not just any car, mind you, but a brand new Mustang."

What's the significance of the car?

I find the idea of other people paying for me sort of creepy. Really I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I'd rather they didn't and instead put their money in the Ronald Mcdonald House charity or something.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 15th, 2005
Because it's fun. There's some kind of tenuous, albeit anonymous connection.

I do stuff like this all the time. I have fun doing it.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 15th, 2005
You were supposed to follow them home for a 3-way.

Mmmm, special sauce, lettuce, cheeze...
Permalink hoser 
August 15th, 2005
Hoser's got dat right. Dey ain't no such thing as a free lunch!
Permalink Anon 
August 15th, 2005
"Love one another, or perish."
Permalink Morrie 
August 15th, 2005
One evening in monsoon season in Taipei I'd forgotten to bring my umbrella to work and was standing at one of the intersections waiting to cross and this old and quite tall man for a Taiwanese offered to share his umbrella across the road which I did, when I thanked him on the other side he offered me his umbrella as we turned to go in different directions. I refused as politely as I could.

Things like that happened almost daily in Taipei. So I suppose they weren't random at all.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 16th, 2005
"Your choice of the word "victim" here is curious, though."

It was the OP's choice of word.
Permalink  
August 16th, 2005
People do that kind of thing where I live. When going through a door they wait until you are close, then slam it in your face. I guess they think people will then get free plastic surgery on the health insurance.
Permalink  
August 16th, 2005
D'oh! The OP DID say "victim", it wasn't muppet reading into it. I apologize for my snarky sentence.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 16th, 2005
I would rather think they left a large enough tip that the cashier was embarrassed to take your $5.
Permalink Alex 
August 16th, 2005
I get a kick out of being randomly kind like that. Especially in situations that allow for more of a stand back and watch the show sort of thing.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 18th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

Other topics: August, 2005 Other topics: August, 2005 Recent topics Recent topics