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Spreading compassion with two random acts of kindness

Grassroots Tehachapi

Within the last week I was in the right place, at the right time to witness two completely random acts of kindness. There's always room for more kindness in this world, so here's hoping this inspires you to spread a bit of love throughout the Tehachapi community.

A helping hand and a warm beverage

Paying it forward in a Starbucks line is definitely not uncommon. It has happened to me previously and I've read stories about the chain reaction it sets off. A stranger in line before you pays for your coffee. Then you pay for the person behind you. So on and so on. It's a nice and easy way to make someone smile.

This week, after collecting my coffee, the man in line behind me ordered two coffees. One was for him, the other I overheard, was for an older man standing near the door. The man had fallen on some bad times and was living in a small space with no heat. I'm not sure how the two men knew each other, but this kindly stranger decided he could at least help by providing a hot cup of coffee.

This reminded me of a story I read recently about "suspended or pending coffee." This appears to be an Italian tradition. You buy your coffee then pay for a few more "on suspension." When someone unable to pay, but in need of something warm to drink comes in, they ask if any coffee is pending. If so, they get that coffee free of charge.

I did a little research to see if this was true or just a well-wished idea and it appears to be true. At least according to Snopes, a myth revealing website that helps readers discover the truth behind news, articles and stories spread around the Internet. Honestly, whether it's true or not, it should be!

Even the tiniest hands can lend a helping hand

Maybe it's thanks to Tehachapi Unified School District's recent kindness week lessons, but one little girl's act of compassion warmed my heart and gave me so much hope. While waiting in my car from the drop off line at my daughter's school, I watched as a boy struggled to zip up his backpack as he ran into school. It was bursting of papers, books and what looked like an extra sweater for our cold Tehachapi winter. He stumbled and everything flew from his pack. He scrambled to pick it all up as kids and adults rushed by to make it in before the bell. He slowly gathered each paper and pencil alone. Then, a little girl, with a backpack bigger than she was, put her hand on his shoulder and offered her help. She carefully gathered his items alongside her new friend and even helped him zip up his pack. They exchanged a sweet wave then went on their separate ways toward class.

This had me smiling all day. Compassion is the most important lesson we can instill in our children and it felt so good to see it being practiced by the littlest members of this community.

It would be amazing to live in a world where compassion is the prevailing response in every situation, but we're not there yet. We could always do more, whether it be through a warm beverage or a warm gesture. Let's all do something extra this week to make a stranger know they are important and cared for.

See you next time and be kind to one another!

Do you know an inspirational group, individual or program that should be featured in an upcoming Grassroots Tehachapi? Email me at [email protected].