I hit a car the other day. I was attempting to parallel park, and somehow the gray of my minivan ended up on the side bumper of the other person’s tan car. I was devastated, and mortified since it happened right in front of the window of a busy coffee shop.
I left an apology note on the car with my contact information and headed into the coffee shop. Thankfully, no one had the guts to comment on my parking job.
Two hours later, I returned to my minivan, only to see that the assaulted car was still sitting there. There was another piece of paper attached to the man’s windshield – a parking ticket.
I couldn’t stand the thought of the owner coming out to a roughed-up bumper and a parking ticket, so I left another note and tucked some money into the ticket envelope.
The next day I got a text message from the owner telling me not to worry about the fender and asking if he could return the money. I finally convinced him that it had made me feel better to use that tiny act of kindness to reroute both of our days.
A Fargo woman sent me the story of her recent car trouble. She didn’t hit anyone in front of a store full of onlookers, but was certainly embarrassed all the same.
“I attended the wonderful musical production of Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Sheyenne High School in West Fargo. It was an excellent performance!
“I had never been to the school, so I parked in an unfamiliar lot. I was careful to back into a spot so I could easily get out, but it never occurred to me that I should look where I had parked.
“When I came out of the school after the performance, it was dark. I got totally mixed up and very embarrassed because I could not find my vehicle. It was an extremely cold evening, so I walked back into the school. As I walked out of the building again, I happened to mention to a passing couple that I could not find my car.
“I was walking around the lot some more when a car pulled up right beside me. It was the couple I had spoken to briefly. The very kind people, Doug and Alice, rolled down their window and invited me to ride around the lot in their car.
“It turns out there are two parking lots at the school, and we did eventually find my car.
“I just want to shout out a big ‘Thank you!’ to these kind strangers.
“Doug and Alice How of Minnesota, I hope you see this and know how grateful I am for your kindness.” – Kathleen Bennett, Fargo
I’d love to hear more of your stories of kindness. If you’ve been the recipient of an act of kindness, or are the one making someone else’s day, please let me know. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is a writer, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Ohio University’s Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday.