Sep 26, 2022 - Health

Axios Finish Line: Spreading kindness

Illustration of a pointed finger reaching out and poking a smile face

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

It’s often easy and quick to do something small to help someone, but we rarely do it.

Why it matters: We underestimate the value of small and random acts of kindness until we’re on the receiving end of one.

Let's hear from Axios readers who paid it forward recently...

  • "I was next up in a long, slow line at a service desk with a single clerk. The person being waited on was harrumphing his displeasure at the speed of resolving his complicated transaction. After a few minutes it was my turn, and I said, 'I have all the time in the world, would you like to take a moment to breathe?'" –Key H., Jackson, Mississippi
  • "Last night, a lady I don’t know was lugging laundry and supplies to the laundry room at Oceanside RV Resort. I offered to put in the code to unlock and open the door for her. She was pleasantly surprised and said, 'A thousand blessings to you!'" –Jackie R., Mesa, Arizona
  • "I was out on a morning run around Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, when I was stopped by an elderly woman asking for directions. She struggled to speak English, but was acting as the lead and translator for her group of friends. ... I paused my run and volunteered to walk them. The experience highlighted how easy it is to make positive connections with others, despite age, language, and cultural barriers." –Georgia M., Vancouver, British Columbia
  • "It was late in the evening; I stopped at a local Wawa to grab a sweet treat. There were about 5 people in the store. I got my milkshake, and asked the cashier to ring up everyone behind me in line on my tab. For a mere $21 dollars, the gesture appeared to invoke great joy — and some bewilderment." –Lisa C., Ortley Beach, New Jersey
  • "I stopped at Sierra College in Rocklin, one of the evacuation centers for the Mosquito Fire. Some said they really needed food for their pets, so I went to Costco and bought a couple hundred pounds of dog food and brought it back for distribution. My dogs eat well and theirs should too." –Beth Ann G., Rocklin, California
  • "My wife and I took our single mom friend out on Saturday night for dinner, drinks and dancing. She's struggling to make ends meet and deal with her boys' upbringing. So she was happy to get out and dance and relax a bit." –Dave M., Scottsdale, Arizona
  • "A lady with two small children in front of me in the checkout line was unable to pay for her groceries. I told the cashier to add her items to my bill. The kids were happy, and their mom thanked me several times. We all left the store with a smile on our face." –Tom S., Mahtomedi, Minnesota
  • "Waiting in line at the pharmacy, I was feeling irritated. The woman in front of me asked if I could hold her place for a minute, and I overheard her asking an employee if they had any masks as she forgot hers. It occurred to me that I had stashed one in my bag, and I remember reading about 'pay-it-forward' in Axios Finish Line, so I offered it to her and she was so grateful." –Heather N., Portland, Oregon
  • "We were in the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant, [and] I noticed [the passenger behind me] was wearing a "Navy Veteran" hat. I paid for his order and asked the cashier to just tell him it was from one veteran to another. The Navy vet gave me a thumbs-up when he got to the pay window." –Robert T., Rock Hill, South Carolina

This is the culmination of a three-part Axios Finish Line series on kindness: 

The bottom line: Let's all keep spreading the good — and that kindness will reverberate back to us.

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