I’m sometimes struck with spontaneous acts of generosity. It’s not because I particularly WANT to be nice, though that is usually a goal of mine. Quite often, part of me says, “What on earth are you doing, giving stuff away?!” But the urge strikes me, and it’s senseless to fight it.
And I DID have quarters in my wallet.
“Do you want a quarter for the gumball machine?” I asked Hanna while we sat waiting for our Chinese food in the very modest takeout place. Hanna enjoys gum, Hanna loves small things like that, a quarter for Hanna would make him happy. Thus, the urge.
“Uh, do you have a quarter?”
“Yes,” I replied, and I pulled it out of its little pocket and placed it in his palm.
“Ooh!” He was over there like a shot, turning cranks with the enthusiasm of a much younger child. He returned, quite triumphant – with two gumballs; one green, one blue (which he tried to argue was purple, but he’s color blind and an independent witness corroborated that it was definitely blue).
And just as unthinkingly as I gave him the quarter, he plopped the blue one right back into my palm.
I don’t THINK the machine said it was two for a quarter – and I hope not, because man was I pleased. Just a small reminder from the universe that being kind really is its own reward, and that it’s not worth it to hang on to feelings of “mine, mine, mine!” And if it isn’t its own reward, there are occasional gumballs.
…I don’t actually like gum, but I’m glad to have it sitting in my clutch all the same.