Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

Random Acts of Kindness

Part of Zen Master’s philosophy is rooted in random acts of kindness and paying it forward.  His daily actions inherently reflect this belief whether people recognize it or not. 

So when he himself is a recipient of truly random acts of kindness, which is, truthfully, quite rare, he would pause for a moment, his eyes wide, not unlike a deer caught in the headlights.

A while back, Zen Master ran into a neighbor in the stairs.  She was complaining of a fierce headache that she couldn’t shake off.  He said that green tea would help it.  And he went out the next day to the Asian supermarket and bought a box of green tea for her.  (I didn’t know that green tea could help this type of ailment, but Zen Master said it was an extremely slow process, but eventually it did.)

The other night when I got home, there was a blue plastic shopping bag hanging on our front door.  I took it inside in the house.

“Did anyone knock on the door?”  I asked Zen Master and Zen Mum.  They were puttering inside the kitchen, preparing dinner.

We all peeked inside the bag and found three locally grown cucumbers, soil still clinging to them. 

“Nobody knocked.”  Zen Mum answered.

“Who gave this to you?”  Zen Master asked.  “Did you get these from work?”

When I told them where I found it, they both were puzzled.  Erring on the extreme side of caution, because you just never know nowadays, we decided not to eat them right away.  Let’s just wait and see if the owner came forth. 

And the next day, Zen Master passed the neighbor’s husband while in the parking lot.  They were the owners of the cucumbers.  A friend had given them a bunch of them, and they in turn gifted some to us because they had too many and didn’t want them to go to waste.  Zen Master thanked him so profusely his head almost touched the ground. 

(Okay, so it didn’t really touch, but it came pretty darn close!)

A couple nights later, I found another shopping bag hanging on my front door.  This time a note was included with two bags of specially flavored green tea, raspberry and mint. 

“Why does she do this?”  Zen Master was quite befuddled by this action.  He really didn’t know what to make of it.  “What do you think she wants from us?”

“I don’t think she wants anything, Zen Master.”  I said as I sniffed the bag and smelled the minty flavor.  “Some people are like that.”

“I should buy her something.”  He frowned with concern.  “What should I get?  What do you think is a good idea?”

I pat him on the shoulder.  “Saying thank you is good.”

But he remained unconvinced even after I ran next door and stuck a thank-you note on their door.

COST:  two small bags of flavored green tea = $5.94

Zen Master’s paradigm shift = PRICELESS

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