I just saw a thread on Twitter that melted my heart and really made me think.
A woman whose handle is Therra posted about her experience in a Whole Foods. Some of her groceries (food for her rescue dogs and cats and blind chicken) got mixed up with the man in front of her in line, and when she apologized and said the items were hers, the man replied, “I might as well get it.” When Therra protested, the man insisted and ended up buying all of her groceries, totaling $375.
Therra cried, they chatted about her dogs, the man said his name was Chris. She kept thinking he was an angel, but didn’t know how to tell him that.
Turns out Chris was rapper/actor Ludacris. She hadn’t realized this when they were talking, and when she had asked, "Who are you??", he'd said “Just a guy.”
Therra goes on in the thread to say that the only reason she was in Whole Foods was because she was given a gift card—otherwise she’d never be able to afford it. That she’d lost her husband to brain cancer, her mother to hurricane Katrina, and she was in a very dark place. She felt Ludacris had no way of knowing all of that, but his generosity lit up her life when she needed it most.
The other day the strangest thing happened to me. I was running errands around Manhattan and was tired, hot, and stressed about my to-do list. At one point when I went to get on the subway, right before I swiped my metrocard at the turnstile, a man jumped in front of me and swiped his card. My immediate reaction was, really?? How rude to cut me off at the turnstile! But as soon as he swiped the card, he hung back and motioned for me to go through on his swipe.
I stared at him in disbelief. He motioned again and said something like, “please go ahead,” and then he took off back up to the street. I was stunned as I went through the turnstile.
Therra was overwhelmed and brought to tears. I was in shock. The kindness of strangers can be ludicrous to us—a totally strange and foreign experience. But if more of us went on instinct and intuition, we’d be helping others all the time. I believe Ludacris knew on some level that Therra needed kindness that day. (Maybe an angel tapped him!) And I think the subway man had a way of knowing I needed a break. Whether it’s $2.75 or $375 or not about money at all doesn’t matter. Kindness is powerful in any form. I'm going to try to be more Ludacris today.
It’s all about the magic. 🙌