kindness activist

kindness activist

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Stuffed Animal Kindness

I parked at Ikea this sunny afternoon and was surprised to find THIS on my walk into the store:

A vehicle with a STUFFED MONKEY on the side mirror.  Isn’t it fabulous??? 

It made me smile.  It made me curious.  It made me so happy!  And it made me wonder…  How did that monkey GET there???  Did someone see it outside the vehicle on the ground and think the people dropped it getting out, so “returned” it??  Did the owners always put a little monkey on their mirror when they went in places, maybe making it easier to find their car later??  Or did someone GIFT it to the people from the car, put it on there while the car owners were in Ikea shopping????  That was the theory I went with – a GIFT!

But then, of course, my mind started wondering MORE…  Who gifted it??  And WHY?  Was it maybe an inside joke between friends?  Was it a gift between lovers??  Or did a complete stranger just decide, “I am going to give these people this adorable stuffed monkey!”???  Such a MYSTERY!

But since I was the one that saw it, and since I got to do the pondering about it and enjoy it, I decided on this theory:

A complete stranger bought this brand new cute stuffed monkey.  They bought it for the sole purpose of surprising a stranger with it, and today was the day! 

And then I became inspired… 

You know, the whole premise behind the Kindness Activist project is this:  if we see kindness in action, if we receive it or are told about it, we in turn are inspired to BE KIND – to go out and spread more kindness in the world ourselves. 

SO THAT IS JUST WHAT I DID!!!  I got everything I had come to get at Ikea (and then some, because that is what always happens at Ikea…).  Then I headed for the children’s section to check out the stuffed animals.  To my surprise, the monkey from the parking lot was NOT being sold at Ikea.  But there WERE lots of other stuffed things to choose from!  (Side note: I often look at Ikea’s stuffed toy collection, and it is bizarre…  I don’t know if you have checked it out before, but they have strange stuff!!  For years they have had a stuffed red heart with ARMS – why it has arms I am not sure – but that one is on clearance now (so if you are really hankering for a heart with arms better rush to Ikea soon…).  They have, I am not making this up, STUFFED VEGETABLES.  Today I saw stuffed BROCCOLI.  I like broccoli as much as the next guy, but I don’t think if I was a kid I would want to PLAY WITH IT.  And they have these little stuffed RATS.  I have always thought they were gross and wondered WHO in the world buys them.  Today I found out – 7 year old boys seem to think they are amazing!  “Mom, look, a little stuffed RAT!”.  Ewwww.

Anyway, I narrowed it down to a stuffed bunny and a stuffed panda.  In the end, the panda won out.  I checked out, put my purchases in my car, and set off with the panda to find the perfect car to put it on!! 

The Ikea parking lot is crowded on the weekends,
so there were loads of cars to choose from
I decided I would choose a car with a car seat in it, because not all adults dig stuff animals but I THINK all kids car seat size do.  So I found this car, and I put the panda on it:

Panda hiding on unsuspecting car...
Doesn’t it look cute??? 

Cute little panda butt
I watched as a couple of people walked back to their cars in the area, but they weren’t the owners of the “lucky car”, so I left.  I put a Kindness Activist card with the bear, so the people who find it would know it was done in kindness and wasn’t, like, some skanky old bear with poison on it or something 😊.  So maybe they will find it and send me a photo, who knows.

What I do know is that was $4.99 well spent.  It was fun picking it out, fun choosing which car to put it on, and fun imagining the people’s surprise when they found it. 

Thanks for inspiring me, stuffed monkey giver

And maybe reading this has inspired YOU to do something kind for a stranger on a sunny spring day.  I hope so!

(You can follow Kindness Activist on Twitter @KindActivist and on Facebook at Kindness Activist)

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