Thursday, October 14, 2010


I went out to dinner tonight. On my way out the door, I grabbed my cane and my purse. My destination was Fudrucker’’s. I had a craving for a hamburger and their spicy fries.

I walked up to the counter to place my order, only then realizing I couldn’t find my debit card. It wasn’t in the pocket of my purse where I normally keep it.

I checked other pockets. I found other things, including a debit card that was no longer valid. But I came up short when I needed to pay for dinner.

I apologized to the cashier, and started to leave. I was thinking of returning once I found the card. Just as I left the restaurant, the woman who had been serving me ran out calling my name.

The manager, she said, wanted to pay for my dinner. I’m a regular at Fudrucker’s, so they know me by name and by sight. I thought about refusing the generous offer to pay for my dinner, but decided to accept it.

It was on my way home that I began to think about good deeds. When should we offer to do them? When should we accept them from others? I’m the first to admit that I can be stubbornly independent: I prefer to be self-reliant, take care of myself, and not be beholden to others for favors. But there’s something to be said for allowing good deeds to be done. For me, in this instance, perhaps the lesson is meant to be humility--I'm not meant to be an island unto myself. For the manager who paid for my dinner, perhaps the lesson is charity.

I still believe in independence≤, but perhaps I need to allow strangers into my life to offer their random acts of kindness. And who am I to deny someone else the good feeling of doing something for me?

Copyright (c) 2010 by the author