Money from strangers
Posted on March 14th, 2014
Last night my daughter and I walked a half mile to meet my husband on his way back from the train. Nearby is a dive bar/restaurant that makes amazing General Tsao’s Tofu. (Yes, that is a thing and a very good thing, too.) There was an important football game on the TV and my daughter was so entranced with it she forgave us for not ordering her ginger ale with her potstickers.
Later, in the chaos of my husband paying at the bar and the football game and the cheering, my daughter started speaking to an older man nearby (perhaps my parents’ age), who gave her some change and asked her if she knew how many dimes were in a dollar and then quarters.
I thought, 1) good, someone else needs to work with her on this, 2) hey, that’s weird, there’s some guy giving away money, he must be 3) crazy or a pervert…but then I realized 4) that used to happen to me all the time when I was a kid. There was nothing weird about it: adults, usually my grandparents’ age, often at church or after church, would give me (or my siblings or all of us) some change. We would thank them graciously, and everyone felt good about themselves.
That is exactly what happened last night. It was a random act of kindness that made us all smile, made me think better of humanity at a time I needed to—and it left one child’s T-rex coin bank about two dollars heavier.