There are a dozen different platitudes about treating people kindly and going out of your way to make someone else’s day better if you can: walk a mile in someone’s shoes, you never know what’s going on behind closed doors, everyone has a secret struggle you know nothing about, et al.
And honestly, they’re popular because they’re true.
No one’s life is without struggle. Every single day, someone you know is having a rough time for one reason or another.
And in those times, simple acts of kindness can make all the difference, even if it seems like no big deal from the outside.
That’s the lesson that came home to roost for Kent State student Mackenzie Mauller after she decided to buy coffee for the person behind her in the Starbuck’s drive thru lane. She left without thinking too much about it, and was shocked to find a letter in her mailbox later that day.
Mauller tweeted about her experience and how it really reminded her that spreading kindness can have unintended consequences.
The letter read:
“Thank you for the coffee! I rarely go to Starbucks and treat myself, but the last couple of months have been a bit of a struggle. My father just passed away and he was also my babysitter. My family and my children have had a really hard time. This morning my babysitter called off sick and I had to take the day off work. I decided to buy my kids breakfast and get myself coffee with total guilt because I am going to become a stay-at-home mom for awhile.
Since I was not planning on going this route in my life, I was not emotionally and financially prepared to quit working. I cried when I found out you were so sweet to buy my coffee and thrilled to see you a couple houses down from where I live. I felt it necessary to know that what you did for me was more than just a coffee. It was something that turned my whole day around, put tears in my eyes and a smile on my face and I feel so grateful.”
Go out and spread your own smiles, people. You never know when something small to you will be more than just a coffee to someone else.