Every time I go through the drive thru of my favorite coffee/tea shop I pay for what ever the car behind me ordered. Some times I pay for one tiny tea, sometimes a car full of coffees and deserts, whatever it is I pay for it. This is a small rule I've imposed on myself ever since that day long ago when some kind soul driving the car in front of me paid for my tea.
I felt so happy that day when my tea was free! So, I like to pass along the favor to others. This is easy to do when I'm happy and my wallet is full.
When I'm having a bad day and my wallet is thin it's not so easy. On days like these I may feel relieved when there is nobody behind me at the drive through. But if there is someone I still pay. I want to build a habit of random acts of kindness, even when I'm not feeling kind.
It's a bit like foster care. When foster care was shiny and new I bent over backwards to be kind and accommodating to every one involved in the system. As time wore on, and the shine was tarnished, it became increasingly trying to keep up my generous attitude. Throw in a little disrespect, a few "if looks could kill", and more than a couple of requests that were above and beyond the call of foster parent duties and I was ready to simply start throwing back what was being given to me.
BUT, remembering my old drive thru rule I adjusted my thinking and started back at square one. Some days it is easy to be kind, respectful and generous, on the days when it is FAR, FAR and seemingly impossibly FAR from easy I try to do it any way.