On my one adventure to Vegas, I did not win enough money to retire (I know this surprises you). However my travel companion and I ROCKED the claw machine. We left with an entire bag of stuffed monkeys. It was so fun to just hand random kids stuffed monkeys as we walked down the street. “Really? For ME?”
Saturday, we went to the local driving range/batting cage/mini golf/arcade place. And of course did it all because I am now a grown up and don’t have to pick just ONE THING. (What can I say, getting older DOES have some advantages). We finished up in the arcade and they had three claw machines, with tiny stuffed animals. They were so small that if you worked the claw correctly you could get like three at a time. After winning a few times, I spotted a Pink Rabbit Named Rose. And tried for her. Tried like four times for her. It was not to be. I came away with a handful of random animals but not the Pink Rabbit Named Rose. At the machine next to me was a young boy (five-ish?) and I mentioned that I was trying for a Pink Rabbit Named Rose but I didn’t have any luck and gave him one of the animals I did win. I continued to play different games at the arcade, winning tickets to redeem for fabulous prizes.
All of a sudden he appears at my elbow. He had such happiness and joy radiating from him… I swear he glowed. “I did it! I did it! I got you a Pink Rabbit Named Rose!” And he hands it to me. Not expecting reward or payment or anything. Just the joy of having made someone happy was enough for him. I told him how wonderful that was, thanked him and told him how impressed I was with his claw talents. He just beamed. I gave him one of the random dogs I had won. And he went back to his claw game.
That pure, undiluted joy that comes from helping someone unexpectedly … I have felt it on the inside, but can’t remember the last time it saw it on the face of someone else with such intensity. Makes me want to go out and do Random Acts of Kindness today.