kindness activist

kindness activist

Friday, July 22, 2016

Share-In Kindness

We met Sharon Mahoney, a performer who has entertained audiences world wide, in a little restaurant in Winnipeg, Canada.  She (like us) was in town for the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.  

Sharon performing
We were talking with her and eating when a woman walked in and asked the restaurant staff for a key to the washroom.  They told her that the bathrooms were for customers only.

It was an awkward moment…  I think we were the only CUSTOMERS in the place, and we had heard the refusal.  The woman didn’t look like she had enough money to BE a customer, so plopping down money just to pee wasn’t going to happen.

She approached us and said, “He won’t let me use the washroom.  I really need to go to the bathroom.  And I am hungry…”.  She was not BEGGING, she was not really even ASKING for money.  But she was sad, and she was hungry, and she needed to use the bathroom.

So Sharon did something about it.  She said, “If you are hungry, I will buy you something to eat!”.  And up the 2 of them went to the counter.  She let the woman pick out whatever she wanted and Sharon paid.  And now the woman was a CUSTOMER, she also got restroom rights.

Sharon stepping up and being KIND - buying a stranger's meal
I sat and smiled.  Why hadn’t I pulled out my wallet??  And why did Sharon instinctively know that buying the woman food, ensuring she could use the bathroom, was the kind, moral, and RIGHT thing to do???

So after the woman used the washroom, got her food, and left, I asked Sharon about it.  She explained that she can’t bear to see people hungry.  That is a philosophy I can so get behind – FOOD should be a human right.  It is a NEED – clean water and food should be available for everyone.  She told me that she would much rather buy someone food than hand them money, and that it is not the first time she had done that (which was obvious to me by the graceful way she did it, allowing the woman to totally keep her dignity).

Actual sign at the restaurant - perfect for this situation, eh??
Sharon also told me that she can relate to having to go to the bathroom!  And seriously, who can’t???  Seeing that woman not be able to get into a public bathroom made me stop and examine my privilege – I mean, I am a clean, white woman, I can pretty much just pop into any Starbucks or McDonald’s and use a bathroom without being questioned.  And if it is locked and for customers only, I have some money in my pocket to buy a soda and get the bathroom key.  But many people are not as fortunate as me.

LOVE this shot of Sharon performing!  (photo credit Cameron Knowlton Photography) 
I also want to point out here – it is not like Sharon is a multi-millionaire.  She is a performer for heaven’s sake J .  She gave of herself, her hard earned money, to buy that woman dinner. 

Sharon – thanks for reminding me to keep my eyes open to others in need and showing me a classy, graceful way to help out.  You made a big difference in that woman’s day, and I hope your kindness inspires others to help, too!

If you are in Winnipeg, please be sure to check out Sharon’s solo show, “The Lion, the Bitch, and the Wardrobe”.  She has been working super hard to promote it and get people to come, and I know she would love to see you in the audience! Only two more chances to catch her amazing show – July 22 at 9:00 pm and July 24 at 1:45 pm.   Link to tickets here:  The Lion, the Bitch, and the Wardrobe tickets

And check out her website at

If you see kindness in action or know of a Kindness Activist, please email me at and tell me!  And be sure to follow Kindness Activist on Twitter.