Today is National Kindness Day – and Friday! I’m a National Whatever Day sceptic but last week I was so blown away by the most random act of kindness I’ve added it to my calendar.
Kim Spoors – Alzheimers Society
Catherine L Owen – Domestic Abuse Intervention Team in Dorset
JMC – Willow Wood Hospice Manchester
FPL Will and I were spending a few days in New York City talking to potential business partners for the US version of Winadinner.com. On Tuesday we were wandering around the city and encountered two, frankly, intimidating looking doormen attending a door. Buoyed by the excitement of being in an amazing city, and a beer or two, I asked them what happened behind the nondescript doorway. One of them introduced himself as Dexter, explained that it was a gig venue and invited us to come back at 9pm to have a look. Thinking nothing of it, we continued our exploration until we decided to take Dexter up on his offer.
We arrived and, from behind a long queue, Dexter recognised me, called out my name (he remembered it!), slapped wristbands on us both and guided us past the queue. We found ourselves in a sold-out gig for Tennis, a band that we listen to regularly in the office and would happily have paid to see had I have known they were in town (and not sold-out).
Why did Dexter do it? I suppose he just liked meeting someone new. Perhaps he’s an anglophile. Whatever the reason, we had the most amazing evening and shared it with people who had flown from as far as Texas to be there.
A few days earlier I shared my taxi with another visitor from the UK. To show his appreciation he gave me a $25 gift card to use at Katz Deli (of When Harry Met Sally fame). It seemed fitting to reward Dexter’s random act of kindness with the card. It turned out that he was a fan of the deli, and was very pleased.
Anyway, why am I telling you this long and tedious story? Well, apart from showing off about my rock and roll lifestyle, I think it very neatly demonstrates the value of being kind, and it also shows that being kind to people you wouldn’t normally have a reason to be kind to pays off even more. I realise that this is not a systematically reproducible strategy to get into cool music gigs, but as a rule of thumb it is a nice way to live, even if you get nothing in return. Of course, FPL all started because I decided to give away £10 every day, and believed that people would respond positively enough for the fortune to return.
Speaking of which… We want to give £300 away to charity. Please post your favourite acts of kindness, whether to you, by you or just told to you, in the comments section below. The three best ones (judged by FPL Ashley by noon next Friday) will win £100 donations to charities of the winners’ choices.
Do be kind… and random!