I really like doing things for other people. My shrink says I’m very empathetic - which can be a bad thing, it turns out - and as a result, making other people happy is a pretty reliable way to give myself a boost, too. I’m just as likely to send a random person a present on a Thursday in June as I am to send an actual Christmas present. It turns out you can be both empathetic, and terrible at gift-giving holidays, who knew?

One of my favorite ones recently was a friend of mine who put out a heartfelt plea the day before Valentines Day:

If anyone wants my work address so they can send me Love Tacos ❤️🌮 tomorrow, just ask and I’ll give it to you #TacosForValentines

500 Words About - Kindness /img/tacoplz.jpg
This used to dance, I promise!

It was the little dancing taco gif that did it for me. Apparently all that you need to do to get me to buy you things is to show me an animated version of the thing that is asking for itself. (I am looking forward to what kinds of tweets I get from this so much!)

It turns out that it’s not terribly difficult to get tacos delivered to someone’s place of employment around lunch-time, if you’re willing to pay a delivery fee! I wanted it to be a complete surprise, but if tacos arrived and everyone was out to lunch, well, that would ruin everything, so I sent my buddy a message.

me: just saying… maybe don’t go out for lunch :P

him: OMG!! DIOS MIO!!! i can’t even……holy cow!! I’m beyond grateful!!! best valentines day in YEARS!!! Thank You!!! (who am I Kidding best Valentines day gift Ever!! LFG!!! OHHHH YEAHH!!!!!

There’s something special about making someone so excited they briefly revert back to their native language. (If this isn’t what happened, don’t tell me, okay?) Theres something even more special about knowing that even if you can’t stop all the crazy political changes that are happening or stop peoples homes from falling off of hills, at least you can make someone smile by sending them tacos and some fry bread.

So if you find yourself getting something cool from me, whether it’s a tasty treat, a tiny Winter Soldier bobblehead snuck in amongst his larger buddies, a needlepoint to remind you to disconnect for awhile, or just some silly socks, know that I was probably feeling down, and wanted to make someone else happy so I could piggyback on the joy. Or maybe I just noticed you were having a hard time and wanted to pull you up a little bit. Don’t worry about paying me back, just be kind to someone else when you see another opportunity. We’re all in this together, after all, and all those tiny chunks of joy stack up and multiply together when they cross from person to person.

I’m not a great hero but dammit, I have a steady paycheck, access to food delivery services, and I know how to use them!

500 Words About - Kindness /img/the_tacos.jpg
I want to EAT that!

A twitter buddy of mine is committing to writing 500 words a day on some topic, and invited others to join her. Feel free to write alongside us, exercise those grammar muscles, and do a little wordsmithing. The hashtag on twitter is #500wordsAbout.