Sunday, March 25, 2012

Random Act of Kindness by Ramona Butler

After a recent visit to the movies, hubby and I stopped off at Denny’s to grab something to eat, and an unusual thing happened. While waiting to be seated, we occupied ourselves with watching a young father at one of those machines where a person feeds in a dollar, then uses a remote-controlled “claw” to pick up a stuffed toy within whatever limited amount of time the money buys.

His young son stood nearby, waiting, wide-eyed, and beaming with anticipation, but quiet, as his dad tried once, twice, three times to pick up the exact toy his son wanted.  We grinned at them and at each other. When our own kids were that age, all our dollars had been needed for food and other necessities.  Now we are able to enjoy movies and dinner out whenever the mood strikes.

As it happened that evening, we were seated across the café at a table where we could continue to watch the little family drama play out.  So when the father was successful we sent him big smiles.  His son appeared overjoyed as the two of them returned to their table.  But, of course, the younger daughter seated there also wanted a toy. So while we enjoyed our dinner, the determined dad patiently challenged the claw again--and finally won.

We beamed at him and his two very well-mannered children, gesturing thumbs-up and silent yahoos across the room.  The endearing performance had been better than the movie.

Our big shock came when the young family got ready to leave.  The young father came over to our table, counted out a five and five ones, and laid it on our bill, saying his family had been blessed, to please apply the money against our dinner.

We protested but he insisted.  WOW!  I hope someday that you will be the surprised recipient of such a lovely shock. We will definitely pay it forward. 

Ramona Butler
Author of Border Heat 
Now available from Champagne Books


Anonymous said...

Terrific story. I luv when good people connect at the emotional level.

Michael Davis (

Jude Johnson said...

I know when my son was small, we truly appreciated compliments from others when we went out to restaurants. That was such a lovely story, Ramona--made me smile!


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

A good example of the feel good/do good that pays it forward. I'm all for less negativity in the world.

Lynda Bailey said...


A truly touching story! It brought a tear to my eye. Love that people really do have good in their hearts.

Thanks for the smile, my friend!

Ramona Butler said...

Thank you all for dropping by. I'm so glad you enjoyed hearing about our wonderful surprise Sorry I wasn't able to breeze in and out during the day, but our son's youngest was getting married today. So, of course, we couldn't miss that. Virginia City, NV was the site of the wedding. Imagine it: a fascinating historic community. the site: 160 year old Silver Queen(saloon); the preacher in stovepipe hat and formal attire from that Comstock Lode era; bride in a beautiful white gown with a delightfully jaunty feather/tiny veil headpiece; country/western music by two cowboy attired dudes. We had a great time, so I hope you'll forgive my absence. Thanks again for your comments on my blog. I truly appreciate you, one and all.

Mariposa Cruz said...


I love pay it forward stories. Great post!

Ramona Butler said...

Thanks, Mariposa. I've heard of small "random acts", like paying for the person behind you coffee but $10! I was truly shocked. Almost wondered if we looked as though we might be homeless. LOL

Linda Rettstatt said...

Great story. One time a friend and I were traveling and stopped at Cracker Barrel to have dinner. A young couple with an infant sat at a table not far from us. I could hear him tell her, "I'll order the special. You order a salad and we can split. I think the special is the cheapest thing that we can share." I felt sick looking at my plate and that of my friend and knowing this young couple was sharing a dinner because they couldn't afford more. We asked the waitress to please give us their bill. She actually said she'd have to check with the manager. We ended up paying their bill without their knowledge. I can tell you those few dollars couldn't have made me feel better knowing they could then afford another meal. We don't always see how fortunate we are until we get a glimpse of someone else's situation.