…I got an idea: Find a way to anonymously pay for this woman’s wallet. I asked the sales person to help me.

Essentially, I asked my sales person to have a chat with the person helping that woman. “Please tell her that someone in the store would like to pay for her wallet and she should choose whichever one she wants.”

Things were moving quickly. The shopper seemed to have concluded she would not get a wallet in that moment. Maybe it was cost. Maybe she was overcome by grief and felt the need to bolt. I can relate to that one.

As I monitored the store mirror with my back facing the store, I saw this woman turn around and head for the exit. The salesperson stopped her. I couldn’t hear what was said but as I saw the expression on her face go from flight mode to one of tearful gratitude she did a 180. She paused, looked around and went back to the wallet table. She picked one out! I asked my salesperson to set the ticket aside and add it to my total when I checked out.

Being part of a random act of kindness had my brain flooded with all the feel good brain chemicals! Epinephrine! Dopamine! Serotonin! Oxytocin! I was so grateful to have been there, and to have had the resources to honor my instinct to try and help.

But it didn’t end there! I continued shopping and chose the final items I would by that day. When I stepped up to pay, the cashier was told by my sales person “This is the lady who is buying that customer’s wallet.”

The cashier smiled and tears filled her eyes as she mentioned how amazing it was to be part of that transaction and generosity!

The cashier was right. Here’s what we know about generosity: When an act of generosity takes place it has the power to influence at least three parties. The giver, the recipient PLUS anyone who witnesses such acts can all receive a literal dose of feel good brain chemicals. So for the cashier, she genuinely felt joy as though she herself was the recipient of generosity.

More on the science of generosity in another chat. For now, know this: If you want to boost your neurophysiology, and that of those around you, look for ways to practice random acts of kindness.

American Author, teacher and psychologist Tara Brach shared this suggestion years ago at a Thanksgiving Meditation session:

“When you feel the urge to do something generous, don’t question it just act.”

That mantra single handedly changed my life as I have made anonymously (to the best of my ability) sharing my resources with others, a life habit.

Here’s to making your own day, by making someone else’s, and the day’s of everyone who may bear witness to your generosity!

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