Another “Act of Kindness” Sighting

My faith in humanity’s capacity for compassion and gratitude was reinforced yesterday when I witnessed an act of kindness.  It was a lovely day, temps in the 70’s, bright blue skies, beautifully sunny.  My friends and I met for lunch at one of Austin’s best-known places to enjoy a good meal outdoors… Shady Grove on Barton Springs Road.  We weren’t the only ones with this idea – the restaurant was packed!

Naturally, after we were seated the waiter left to fetch our drinks, giving us a few minutes to look over the menu.  He delivered our drinks, telling us that he’d be back in a minute, and moved a few steps over to the table next to us where 6 or 7 young men dressed in digi camo were enjoying their meals.  Before my friends and I could resume our small talk, we heard the waiter say to the soldiers, “Just wanted to let you guys know that your bill’s been taken care of by that man sitting over there.”

One of the young men (and I mean young… they all looked to be about 19 or 20 years old) asked, “Which man, is it the one over there in orange and blue?”  When the waiter said yes, the young soldiers all rose immediately and walked over to the table where this man and his family (consisting of two little kids and his wife) were getting up to leave after paying their own tab.  To a man, they shook his hand, saying thank you before going back through the busy restaurant to their table.

After witnessing this awesome moment, I went back to the conversation with my friends.  What an gracious act of kindness, I thought.  Not only to do it in the first place but to pick up what must have easily been a $90+ meal for those soldiers.  Later, as the young men stood up and started to leave, an older woman, probably in her late 40’s, came over and boldly looked each one in the eye and thanked them for their service.  I couldn’t miss this display as it happened right next to our table.  They politely accepted her comments, donned their black berets and filed out of the restaurant.  My patriotic heart was singing, but even more than that I was proud of my fellow civilians for unabashedly showing their gratitude for those who serve and defend our freedom.

Gratitude CampaignHave you seen the website for The Gratitude Campaign?  This site has a short video encouraging and showing how to make a hand sign to express “thank you from the bottom of my heart” as a way to thank members of our military when you see them in public.   American Sign Language starts the sign for thank you from the chin, but, apparently, the original sign, started at the heart, as shown on this website.

Now I have a way to show them my gratitude next time too.  In the meantime… To all of the members of our military, active or inactive, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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