A small act of kindness can make a big difference

| September 18, 2015 | 0 Comments


Chaplain (Maj.) John Grauer
Plans and Operations
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

It’s safe to say that life can get very busy, and we can be overwhelmed by its chaos, so sometimes we crave a story that touches the human spirit.

Perhaps it’s faith that drives a person to make a difference in this world, and sometimes it is a very small act of kindness that can go a long way in changing the human heart.

A simple, meaningful gesture can bring a smile to someone’s day. A note of encouragement can heal a broken spirit. A “like” on a Facebook page can move a group of friends to make a difference.

It doesn’t take lots of money or expensive gifts to make someone happy. Sometimes, all it takes is a thoughtful act at the right time. We often forget how much difference a little act of kindness can have.

So, when it was reported that a restaurant in the state of Washington had honored a fallen Soldier, I realized how the simplest act could be so very powerful. In fact, I thought, wow, what a story about the goodness of the humanity.

Brian Avey, a server at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Tacoma, Washington, shared a story of a woman who came into the restaurant and ordered two beers, including one with a lime wedge. When Avey told her that he could only serve one beer at a time, due to a state law, the woman explained that she had ordered the second beer for her Soldier brother, who’d died in Iraq.

“I’ve never seen that happen before, and it touched me,” Avey recalled.

Avey defied the state law and brought out both beers. He said that the Corona sat untouched as the woman ate her lunch.

The restaurant picked up the tab for the Corona, prompting a message from the customer.

She wrote on her receipt, “Thank you. An act of kindness goes a long way. It means a lot to me. Have a great rest of your day,” and signed it, “A Grateful Soldier.”

But after the woman left, Avey didn’t have the heart to throw the beer away, so he placed it on a cooler next to a flag for another fallen Soldier and asked his manager if he could keep the beer there.

“I told him it was a great idea; I thought it was fantastic,” said manager Dan Banale, adding just had one request: Change the lime every morning, so it stays fresh.

Avey did that, and the restaurant was flooded with calls of thanks for its employees’ actions. “Now it’s become a memorial for all fallen Soldiers,” Dan Banale said.

The world can be a pretty tough place to live. All we have to do is look around and see all the crazy stuff that takes place. But once in a while, it’s nice to be reminded that there is good on this planet, and that no matter where we are, there is faith that humanity can pull it together.

Faith calls us to be good-hearted people everywhere we go. So, it’s up to us to reach out with a simple act of kindness like saying “Hello” to someone in passing or letting someone in a lane in front of us when we are driving.

Kindness really does go a long way. It just takes one person to either smile or offer a friendly greeting, and we can change the attitude of people around us.

What this world needs is more acts of individual kindness and a little more thoughtfulness. A random act of kindness is not so random when we place others before ourselves. A beer and a little faith go a long way in paying tribute to the human spirit.

What act of kindness will you do? For one person, it could change the world!


“A Samaritan traveling down a road came to a man, and he saw the man’s condition. His heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning, he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill. I’ll pay you on my way back.’” — Luke 10:33-35




Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. ” — Wendy Mass




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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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