For the next 365 days, Two Buttons Deep is producing a series called Do The Next Good Thing. We will be approaching random strangers in the streets of the Capital Region and handing them $100. Well, not without a little conversation first.
Here are their stories:
We were sitting in downtown Troy when John walked by us. He was picking up trash for a local waste removal company outside of Peck’s Arcade. Wearing a green safety vest over a gray t-shirt, the length of his daily effort was apparent in his slowed stride.
Across the street stood a family with two toddlers who were clearly fascinated by the operation of the garbage truck. The parent’s made sure they kept their distance as workers did their job.
It was an unusually hot day for mid-September, and as John walked by I asked him how his day was.
“Not good,” he said in a matter of fact tone.
He disappeared inside for a few moments.
When he came back, I jumped out of my seat asked if we could chat for a second. I explained Do The Next Good Thing to him and how we are trying to infuse happiness back into world by doing kind things for random people when they least expected it.
The more questions I asked he began to open up about himself. He was new to the area. He told us about the struggle of transitioning from the city to upstate, the difference in pay scales, and all of the other things that come along with dramatic change. The day’s heat wasn’t helping anything either.
I told him how we’re giving away $100 to a random person every day for the next 365 days, and that John was up next.
“You’re just going to give me $100?” he chuckled. “Yeah right.”
And then I handed him the money.
His reaction was incredible. Loud and boisterous, his happiness could not be held in. His energy changed instantly as he hollered to his coworker, Jeremy, to tell him what just happened.
When we asked him what he thought he would do with the $100, without missing a beat, he told us it is going in an envelope for his brother’s wedding gift which is happening in two weeks. He also promised that he also was going to do the next good thing. Our only ask.
And he immediately held his word.
He ran across the street and greeted the curious toddlers. Not only did he hand them $10, he let them cross the street to experience the garbage truck first hand.
Two Buttons Deep is a news & entertainment website based in upstate New York.
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