Saturday, May 23, 2009


It’s been REALLY hot here in Kuwait. At 10:30 a.m. it was already 45°C (about 113°F) and I was boiling! As I was waiting in line this morning at the grocery store, I went to get some water from the fridge next to the check-out counter. Much to my dismay all the bottles were lukewarm at best. Another man came up and was also looking for a bottle of cold water but I told him that all the bottles were warm in this fridge. Definitely the wrong day for beverages to be warm!

The queue was building up so instead of searching in another fridge, I just proceeded and to put my items on the conveyor belt. As I placed my last item and was getting ready to pay – all the while dreading the idea of going back in that sweltering heat – the man who was searching for water came up to me and gave me an ice cold bottle of water.

I was so touched.

I wish I wasn’t so moved by that gesture. I wish that it was common enough for it to seem ordinary. The truth is, I think it’s far from ordinary and commonplace. So rarely do I see acts of random kindness – holding the door open for someone else, picking something up that someone has dropped, saying ‘please’, ‘thank you’, and ‘excuse me.’

Why have these simple gestures become so rare? A little bit of kindness goes a long way – it doesn’t cost anything, and it makes the other person feel good – which in turn makes them more likely to do something good for someone else. Everybody wins!