Episode 16: Nuggets of Kindness with Stuart Perkins

When Vicki, Stuart and I were talking on this podcast about Stuart’s post called A Nugget of Kindness, I told the story of a time when I took Miss O to get donuts when she was four-years-old. The pandemic had just started, so it was a big deal to be able to get out and do something together. I put her on the back of my bike, stuffed some cash in my pocket, and off we rode.

After waiting in line, 6 feet apart, Miss O picked out the pretty pink donut with sparkles and an apple fritter. They bagged our donuts and when we got to the cashier to pay, I handed her my money. She looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, we stopped taking cash.” With no other way to pay, they took the bag back from us, and Miss O and I were stunned into silence as we left the store.

It was one of those moments where I literally had no words. Miss O was asking about what we were going to do, thinking I could solve it, and I was standing on the corner outside the donut shop looking at the other shops around knowing that none of them sold pink donuts with sprinkles. As I stood there for what felt like a long time, a man who must have been two or so people behind us, came out and handed us our bag of donuts. When I tried to hand him my cash, he smiled and said, “I don’t take cash either.

Vicki asked if I had ever written that story down. No, I hadn’t – it still is so icky with parental shame and memories of that look on Miss O’s face when I couldn’t deliver, that I still hesitate to write it now. Like Stuart says, “Memories have power.” I brought it up because it was just one of the things that made me relate to Stuart’s powerful story – of parenting, kindness, inspiration, people paying attention to how they can help others.

And that’s what Stuart, Vicki and I talk about in this episode. Stuart reads for us his piece entitled A Nugget of Kindness, about a moment where he recalled the generosity of a stranger twenty years earlier and pays it forward. We take a deep dive into how both paying it forward, and writing about it, extends the gratitude we have for people who help us in our moment of need, and also ties back to the wisdom of Stuart’s grandmother who taught that when you see a need, you fill it, without caring who gets credit.

We talk about how it doesn’t take much to be helpful to others because often something small for one person can make a difference to someone else. The three of us also mine the other nuggets – the beautiful comments left by readers that serve to continue the cycle of kindness and inspiration.

We know you’ll love this warm, feel-good episode of writing, wisdom and kindness. Then please come back here and tell us what resonated with you!

As a footnote, I asked Miss O this week if she remembered that scene with the donut shop and not being able to pay. Nope. Another reminder that what powerfully sticks out for us as parents doesn’t even register with our kids a lot of the time.

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Links for Episode 16:

Listen on Anchor: Episode 16: Nuggets of Kindness with Stuart Perkins

Stuart’s blog: https://storyshucker.wordpress.com

Stuart’s post: A Nugget of Kindness

21 thoughts on “Episode 16: Nuggets of Kindness with Stuart Perkins

  1. Lovely story, Wynne. My friend John likes to say “Buddies don’t count,” meaning they don’t keep score. Rather like your anonymous benefactor. Good souls.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. That was a sweet gesture that man did and really reminded me those strange and surreal early days of the pandemic. These moments are so small in the moment but so large when we look back on them. We need more of these stories to combat the darkness that surround us.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, you are so right about those strange days of the pandemic. It was hard to know what to expect because people were changing the rules all the time! You are so right that we need more of these stories! Happy Fridya, Ab!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What strikes me about this beautiful story of kindness is the shame that you ascribed to yourself about not being able to pay. You did everything right and nothing wrong, and yet the circumstances that conspired against you through no fault of your own sent you off feeling ashamed. How often do we do that to ourselves? Right or wrong, we never have anything to be ashamed of. We are just little bits and pieces of God walking around trying to learn through our little human mistakes. Thank goodness we have each other to hold hands with as we stumble through our earthly lessons! Thank you the lessons you share so willingly and beautifully, Wynne. It blesses all!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love this in your reply, Julia, “We are just little bits and pieces of God walking around trying to learn through our little human mistakes. Thank goodness we have each other to hold hands with as we stumble through our earthly lessons!”

      Right, just trying to learn. I don’t think I would have thought twice about the donut thing had I been alone but with Miss O looking at me, I just felt so bad! Thank goodness for that lovely stranger and for all of this community that makes it possible to tell these stories!! Sending you big love, Julia!! ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  4. What a kind person. Was it luck he was in line with you or something more? I’m sure you’d do the same. It reminds me of a ski vacation in Sun Valley, ID. I was three or four and we stopped for ice cream cones. I had a scoop of strawberry (pink of course.) I dropped the ice cream on the ground and began to cry. I nice man was standing next to me and offered to buy me another ice cream. My parents and brother had walked away and they were frightened because I wasn’t with them. They walked back to the front of the line and there I was with Jean-Claude Killy, the best skier in the world, buying me a fresh strawberry ice cream cone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What?? You have the best stories, Elizabeth. Between Jean-Claude Killy, Paul Newman, and Frank Sinatra, you clearly have a talent for attracting stars!! That is awesome. Thanks for sharing that! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wasn’t sure if you’d know who Jean-Claude Killy was. I remember his accent and a huge gold watch. That’s mostly what I could see from my perspective at three or four!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved Stuart’s story. So heartwarming. And I really resonated when Vicki said, “Sometimes people have to know pain to relieve pain.” I believe this to be the birth of empathy and compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What an insightful comment! I love your line “I believe this to be the birth or empathy and compassions.” Right – we can be so blind to things we’ve never experienced. Thank you for listening and the wonderful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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