A Nice Gesture in the Wake of Tragedy

After spending more than a full workday dealing with the tragedy that unfolded in a Connecticut school on Friday, I experienced something really nice on Saturday.

As I was having breakfast at Cracker Barrel, my waitress approached me and apologized that she didn’t have a bill for me. I was perplexed: why would she apologize for that? I’d think anyone would be happy to get such news.

She then pointed to a now-empty table to my left, and told me that the couple who’d just been sitting there had asked for my bill and that they paid it for me.

I vaguely remember seeing the couple. We didn’t speak. I don’t think we even made eye contact with each other. Yet for some reason, they decided to buy my breakfast and not even tell me. Considering what the previous day was like, and the information that kept coming in about how unspeakably evil one person could be, it was almost a shock to the system that a random act of kindness could still happen.

When the waitress made her way back to my table to fill my coffee mug, I asked her for the bill of the couple sitting to my right.

“Oh, that’s paying it forward: I love that!” she answered.

I hope that couple kept it going. Wouldn’t it be nice if the same gesture went on all day long?

Have you ever had someone perform a similar random act of kindness for you? If someone did, would you keep it going?


  1. This made me tear up a little. Again, and for a much more pleasant reason.
    Thanks to you and your coworkers, and those in media around the nation, the conscientious ones, who struggle to make sense of events like yesterday’s.

Leave a Response

We'd love to hear from you, but remember all comments must be respectful. We reserve the right to remove comments that do not follow our comment guidelines. Click here to review our comment policy.

Your name, as provided, will display on the website with any comment you leave. Your email address and your browser’s IP address does not display publicly and we do not share or sell your email address or IP address to anyone.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.