One summer, C.C. and I took three of our four almost adult children to New York. One night, after coming out of a broadway musical, I bought a bunch of roses from a street vendor and said to the girls, “Let’s give them away to strangers!”
For the next half hour on the walk to a restaurant where we were meeting friends for a late dinner, we wandered along the streets, approached strangers and said, “Hi. I’m from Canada. I have a rose for you just because.”
Some people were suspicious. Some hesitant. Some embraced the gift without a moment’s thought.
Most people wanted to know why. Why are you giving away a free rose? Some asked, ‘What’s the catch?’ Some looked around suspiciously as if to see if they were on Hidden Camera or some other tv show designed to capture them in awkward moments.
Regardless of their initial response, not one person refused the rose. Not even the police officer we offered it to.
Not one person didn’t smile. Not one person didn’t say thank you!
And everyone walked away laughing and smiling.
We laughed so hard that night and had such fun!
And what I love about it is that even years later, I still smile when I think about not just the people we gave the roses to but about how the girls and I took the opportunity to connect with strangers and create smiles everywhere while C.C. and his son looked on laughing and making sure we weren’t going to get into any trouble. At first both girls (then 18 and 21) were hesitant. But once they saw the joy that was created through the simple act of gifting a rose to a stranger, they jumped right in and played along.
Sprinkle a little joy where ever you go today. Give a loved one, a co-worker, your boss, a stranger, a rose and tell them it’s “Just Because.”