A Lesson in Kindness: Washing Clothes in Paris

My wife and I were in Paris about 20 years ago, and we needed to wash our clothes in a laundromat.laundromat-machine-paris

The only problem was there were no coin slots on the washing machines.

We couldn’t read the signs (in French) on how to go about using them. We were totally confused.

All of a sudden, a lady came up to us and in fairly good English said, “Do you want me to help you?” Did we ever.

She led us to a corner of the store, and there we saw a coin slot hooked up to a computer. You told the computer what you wanted to do, and it told you how much to put in the slot. It then directed you to the numbered machine you were to use. All in French of course!

When the washing was over, our kind French lady was still at our side; and we got the drying started. Half way thru the drying cycle, I said to my wife, “There’s a flower shop directly across the Street. I am going over there and buy this kind lady a large bouquet for being so nice.”

I came back with the flowers, and when I gave them to her, all of her emotions let loose.

She started hugging us, crying , and thanking us all at the same time. When she finally calmed down, I asked her what brought this on. She said today was her 50th birthday, and she was all alone. No one to take her to tea, or out to dinner! No one to wish her a happy birthday, or to send her a card!

And she said, “Here were two Americans, from over 3,000 miles away, giving her this beautiful bouquet of flowers that made her feel better already and her loneliness was gone.”

When that French lady got up that morning, I am sure she didn’t say, “Today I am going to show two Americans how to do their laundry.”

I can tell you for sure, when I got up that morning, I didn’t say, “Today I am going to buy a bouquet of flowers for a French lady that I never met before.”

Kindness is contagious, and we were both pleasantly pleased how wonderful it was to have it come into our lives that morning!

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