The Nicest People in the World

Can you explain the “random act of kindness”? What might be the motivation, the cause, and the consequence of such unexplained behavior? I understand that there are places where such occurrences rarely happen. However, here in my home town of Saluda, North Carolina, these unprovoked events occur daily. My first experience was only days after my wife, Donna, and I had taken ownership of The Oaks Bed and Breakfast on Greenville Street. We were living among a labyrinth of cardboard boxes. Before the task of unpacking was to commence, I decided to make my way to the front verandah to clear my head with a breath of invigorating Blue Ridge Mountain air. Slowly my vision cleared and the synapses began to fire. It was better than a double espresso! Fearful that I may get too much of a good thing, I turned to reenter the inn. There on the antique doorknob hung a familiar looking item—it was a plastic grocery bag. In the bag was a collection of produce from some neighbor’s garden, all fresh and fragrant. No note. No card. No one to thank. Interesting. Another time, the lovely gal from across Greenville Street brought over the most delicious Coconut Cream Cake. Now I am not wild about coconut, but I have to say, this was the most amazing cake ever! An old family recipe she told me. (I think I detected the slightest bit of rum!) Was it my birthday? An anniversary? None of that—it was a “welcome to the neighborhood” cake. Then there was the time my wife and I were visiting a neighbor (we will call...