Art: Casey Supple

Is it weird to reject random acts of kindness?

The other day a very friendly woman started talking to me while in line for lunch. She then went on to offer to pay for my meal as a random act of kindness. I declined. At first my initial thought was, “yes that’s cool.” Then I immediately felt like I shouldn’t be taking money away from this woman.

I don’t know why, but I felt that taking money from her was wrong. Maybe it was all those times my parents told me not to take things from strangers. Or maybe I just felt that I had the money to pay for my meal and that I didn’t need her to pay for it.

She wasn’t insulted or disappointed, she just said “OK.” She went on to tell me that she felt better asking me first instead of just paying for my meal. She commented that other people she had done this for weren’t very happy about her doing it.

This wasn’t the first time someone had done an act of kindness towards me. This also wasn’t the first time I rejected the offer. Granted, the other times someone paid for my meal it was agreed upon or I didn’t get a chance to say yes or no, so maybe that’s why it didn’t feel as weird as it did in this occasion.

In my opinion, I think I did the right thing. It wasn’t that I was just being mean to this person, I just didn’t feel comfortable taking her money. Maybe if I was in a different circumstance I wouldn’t have felt so weird about accepting the offer for her to pay for my meal.

I really didn’t know how to feel about the interaction, but it was definitely weird. Also, did I make it more awkward by saying no? Or should I have said yes and made this woman happy?

I feel as though random acts of kindness are always a good thing to do, but not always necessary. Sometimes people don’t need the kindness or maybe just don’t want it, putting them in an awkward position of rejecting the kindness.

There are people who legitimately would get offended if you reject their act of kindness, while others will move on to the next person who will accept their offer.

Sometimes people who do random acts of kindness just do them to feel better about themselves. Although I don’t believe that the woman who offer to pay for my meal did it to make herself feel better, I do believe that there are people out there who just want to feel superior to others and that’s why they do it.

Random acts of kindness are alway a good thing, but only if they are done with good intentions. There is nothing wrong with trying to do something good, as a matter of fact doing some good will make this world a better place.