Unexpected Friendliness

How a Random Act of Kindness Can Make Somebody’s Day

A Kind Gesture: Getting inspired by others’ kind acts at a Dunkin Donuts drive thru.

Maria Garbin

A Kind Gesture: Getting inspired by others’ kind acts at a Dunkin Donuts drive thru.

Maria Garbin and Jocelyn Gonzalez

     Imagine being at the Dunkin Donuts drive thru after a long day of work and having the car in front of you pay for your order. That is what happened to English teacher Mrs. Lauren O’Keefe. Being it an unexpected gift or help, random acts of kindness always seem to cheer people’s days.

     Senior Melissa Connelly, an employee at Adam’s, shares that one time when she was selling lottery tickets, one of her customers bought one for her to play in what she describes as a “truly kind gesture.”

     Connelly says, “it is not too often that I have good, memorable interactions with customers.”

     Social studies teacher Mrs. Rachel Rowley says that there was a time when Lysol wipes were in short supply and she spent months without them. One day, she found out a store had them, but upon arriving there they no longer had it.  

     “I asked one of the employees if he could tell me where to find them.  He said unfortunately they sold out almost immediately,” says Rowley, “Disappointed I thanked him and walked away. He came back up to me and asked how long I’d been out of wipes.”

     When she told him her situation, he handed her a pack that had his name on them, explaining that he had set them aside for himself but wanted her to have them claiming, “I’ll get them next time.”

     “Name on the package, Dave! Thanks Dave!” says Rowley, “When so many people were hoarding toilet paper, sanitizer, wipes… it touched my heart that Dave gave up his package to me and my family.”

     Sophomore Zane George also shares that not long ago he was in the hospital and a friend he made there wrote a note and colored a kids’ coloring page for him as a type of gift.

     “I know it doesn’t sound like much,” says George, “but given the reason I was in there, it made me so happy and [it made me] feel good about myself.”

     Respected, valued, grateful, appreciative, boosted, happy: all adjectives used to describe how unexpected acts of kindness made members of the Foran community feel. Regardless of the type, kind acts always seem to have the same good impact on people.

     “The first thing I always think is the feel good, do good phenomenon,” says AP Psychology teacher Mr. Todd Williams, “if you are having a good day, you’ll feel good about things, [and] you’ll tend to do good deeds more. It becomes sort of that trickle-down effect where then that person now feels good and now they’re gonna do good.”

     Williams explains that this is why, around the holidays, so many people seem to help and act kind more. He says kindness is “contagious” this time of the year. He also explains that this attitude definitely improves mental health, based on the idea of groupthink. 

     Groupthink, as he explains, is the idea that, by getting a community to do good things and deeds, the mindset of the entire group changes. This causes people to be generally more kind.

     “Hopefully, as people grow and mature they just never forget about those types of things,” says Williams.