I have in quite a few bridal parties, and as much as I love being a part of my friends’ special days, that business is expensive. From showers, to dresses, and bachelorette parties, it’s a financial investment (albeit one I am happy to make) in my friendships. Today, my most recent bridesmaid dress was dropped off for alterations, a little strap tweak in time for the ceremony just under two weeks. Now, this isn’t my first time in the alterations game, and typically tailors will charge a set amount for any small alteration (think shortening and adjusting straps), then up the price for more major jobs (like taking in or letting out globally for the garment). But this lovely women told my friend that for two dresses with just a small strap adjustment she would not accept any payment. She would not accept a gift card in thanks. What she wanted was only for us to pay her small kindness forward by either donating time or items to our favorite charity, or doing a good deed for another. I was bowled over by her generosity with her time to make a wedding a little bit less expensive for two complete strangers. It certainly made my day.
And, it probably made hers. There is something incredibly uplifting about doing something kind or generous for a stranger. Anyone who has donated to a thrift shop, or helped an elderly person cross the street knows that good feeling you get when you help someone else. In addition, the Huffington Post reported it can have real health benefits for do-gooders. Doing a random act of kindness for a stranger can improve heart health, contribute to lower blood pressure by triggering a release of oxytocin which opens blood vessels and protects the heart, and as an added side effect is can boost your mood to make you an overall happier person. So, keep it up! Doing good for others is good for them, good for your mood, and good for your health.
Has a stranger ever given you a random act of kindness? Have you given one to someone else?