If you witness a ‘random act of decency,’ share it with us

Sense of Decency

Sense of Decency is soliciting personal stories of … well, decency. If you have witnessed an act of unexpected kindness, or benefited from it, we’d like to share it here. The anecdote below prompted this request. We hope to hear from many of you soon. — Dennis, Jim and Michelle.


On a recent morning I stopped at a local coffee shop before getting on the highway to spend a few hours with my two grandchildren.

Only one barista was on duty and he was busy making a fancy beverage for the only customer ahead of me. I stood behind the customer, a man in a baseball cap, resigned to waiting a few minutes. I wasn’t in a hurry, so it was not an inconvenience — just a much-needed exercise in patience. And then …

Almost immediately, my thoughts lurched to negativity: Why can’t people just order real…

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  1. one of the most powerful experiences I’ve had in this arena happened when I was in line at a register with a woman and her children. we had shopped together as part of a ‘warm the children’ initiative in my county. each family who needed a bit of extra support was assigned a partner shopper (me) and provided with a voucher to pay for winter warm clothing and outerwear for each of their children. while waiting in line behind another woman who had ‘gone over her limit’ by a few dollars and was asked to put something back to stay within the limit, the woman I was with opened up her wallet and paid the difference for the woman in front of her, knowing how it felt to not have enough. knowing that she was a person who had nothing and yet shared the small amount of money she had in her wallet (and she needed just as badly) to help another brought me to tears. I offered to pay instead, but left it when i saw her proud to have a way to help another and it restored a bit of hope and dignity to both of them. it is a moment I will never forget as long as I live.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for that, Beth. What a powerful encounter. (Let me talk to my Sense of Decency colleagues to figure out if we will post your response and others as comments, or as separate posts in the near future.) Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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