Prior to launching my own company, I worked for other incredible businesses. My career was in sales and marketing which required me to travel at least three weeks out of the month. Once, while on a business trip in New Mexico, I received word that the company I was working for at the time was closing its doors and I was out of job.
I was sitting in an airport restaurant when the bad news came crashing down. As you can imagine, I was mad, scared, sad and numb all at the same time. To help calm my nerves and to get some sort of direction on how to deal with my suddenly difficult circumstances, I called a few trustworthy friends including my mother.
When the female server brought my bill, I plopped down my credit card without looking at the tab. I didn’t care what my meal cost; I just wanted to go home. With a twinkle in her eye, my server said, “There’s no charge today.”
“Huh, what?” I replied.
“The woman who was sitting at the next table overheard your conversations,” she explained. “She felt you deserved a break and paid your bill.”
Up to this point, I had fought back the tears, but the flood gates opened. Rather than crying over my job loss, I was overcome with gratitude for what is often referred to these days as a Random Act of Kindness.
I will never, ever forget the thoughtful stranger who helped me move forward with spirit and strength in order to overcome obstacles. I have paid for lunches for jobless friends in her honor and otherwise continued to gain a greater appreciation for civil behavior and what a positive impact it has on others.
Image Impact International is the proud sponsor of Global Civility Awareness Month which is officially featured in the month of May. I have joined Image Impact International’s Civility Council team to help create positive civility messages, including the inspirational quote seen at the top of your page. Positive messages are supposed to stir-up positive memories, as this one did for me!
Do you recall a random act of kindness directed towards you? What was it and how have you paid it forward? Tweet it, forward it, blog about it and most of all, talk about kindness and civility. Help inspire civility by starting conversations that keep this tradition of caring for others alive and well. A little sprinkle of civility goes a long way.
Tiffany Nielsen, CEO of Premier Etiquette, is a public speaker, business etiquette and children’s manners consultant, and image stylist!
© 2013 Tiffany Nielsen. All Rights Reserved. www.tiffanynielsen.com