Random Acts of Brandness

A few years ago, I was driving through a rusted and run-down region of Connecticut when my car began to lose power.

It was a blistering August afternoon—the kind that melts asphalt—and I was lucky to coax my car to the next exit, and gently roll it down the ramp before my engine died.

My windows wouldn’t roll down, so my only choice was to get out of my car and wait for AAA, as streams of aggravated drivers in air-conditioned SUVs honked at me for blocking a lane of traffic.

Two gritty, sweat-soaked hours later, a tow truck finally arrived. The only kind face I saw the entire afternoon belonged to a man driving a beat-up Chrysler LeBaron—with a gold-fringed Chilean flag dangling from the rear-view mirror—who offered me a cold bottle of water.

Ever since, I’ve had a similar flag hanging on the bookshelf next to my desk, reminding me that there is no such thing as a small kindness, especially when it comes to people in need.

To help repay that unwitting brand ambassador, I just made a donation to aid the earthquake victims of Chile. I hope you’ll shake off “catastrophe fatigue” and do the same thing, too.