You see it a couple of times a day, someone proclaiming, "I just paid for the person behind me in the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru line!" Subtext: Aren't I great? Or "I just left happy messages on all the bathroom mirrors at work--even in the men's room!" Subtext: Aren't I clever and nice?
If you're interested in performing a true random act of kindness, keep it to yourself. Your goal is to make someone's day better, not get kudos from your Facebook friends. A great place to spread the joy is the cigar lounge, where you're given hours of peace, friendship, and joy.* Here are some suggestions, in absolutely no order whatsoever:
- When a friend purchases a cigar from the shop humidor, quietly tell the bartender/humidor manager to put it on your tab. Your pal won't know until he pays his bill.
- If someone new comes into the lounge, introduce yourself and make him feel more comfortable. Remember that a good experience during the first visit usually means he'll come back. He may wind up being your new BFF!
- Give someone a book you think they'll like.
- Give the bartender a huge tip...just because. You don't have to do this all the time, but the kind gesture will make her day.
- Learn people's names and use them.
- Listen... and don't interrupt or share your own story. Most of us need to work out a problem by talking through it. Be that listener.
- Give someone a compliment.
- Introduce people you think would enjoy each other's company.
- When sitting near an acquaintance, if the two of you are struggling to keep a conversation going, say, "Tell me about yourself." Generally, people like to talk about themselves--it's a topic in which they're very well-versed.
- Tell the lounge manager or owner about great service you received--whether help choosing a new cigar, excellent cocktail service, or pure kindness. Unfortunately, supervisors generally only hear about the bad or unfortunate incidents. This will be a great surprise to both of them.
- Ask someone else's opinion about a cigar without saying "I know" at any time, even if you do know.
- Donate cigars or cash to Cigars for Warriors anonymously.
- Offer to drive someone home.
There are twenty zillion other opportunities for making someone's day. I'd encourage you to share with us, but that goes against everything I said in the beginning.
So my challenge to you: Do something nice, a Random Act of Awesome, no matter how big or small, and keep it to yourself.
*If these aren't the regular by-products of your cigar lounge time, you should probably find a place more suited to your personality and needs.