An act of kindness led to an incredible surprise.

In life, it’s easy to get wrapped up in our own worries and problems and to forget that other people are going through things too. But the reality is that we never truly know what someone else is going through, which is why it’s always important to lead with kindness.

A single mother named Lilia is a great example of that. Her spontaneous act of kindness toward a total stranger wasn’t just inspiring, it also led to an amazing act of paying it forward from The Rock.

A Holiday Stranger

A few weeks before the holidays, Lilia and her friend were out shopping when a man approached them. He started off by complimenting Lilia’s pink pants, but then he kept speaking.

“I have a question,” he said. “I’m sorry to bother you guys. I am just trying to get a little Christmas present for my daughter. I am kind of low on cash.”

Without hesitating, Lilia asked the stranger how much money he needed. He told her seven bucks, and she handed him a $10 bill.

The stranger thanked Lilia and asked her why she was willing to help someone she didn’t even know. “Because I also have children,” she responded.

A Major Surprise

What Lilia didn’t know was that the man she had just helped was social media philanthropist Isaiah Garza. The man has dedicated his life to making other people’s lives better, and he was on a mission to find kindness.

He kept talking to Lilia and her friend and eventually, revealed he had a special friend who wanted to pay Lilia’s act of kindness forward. The women were nervous, but eventually, they followed Garza to the parking lot. There, Dwayne Johnson crept out from behind a car and introduced himself to Lilia.

Lilia was surprised, but surprise turned to shock when Johnson told her he was giving her back the $7, with a few more zeroes at the end. He then handed her an envelope with $7,000 inside.

“I just love that you were willing to give somebody — a total stranger — seven dollars,” Johnson said. “Thank you. You represent the beauty of humanity and just doing for people.”

Turning a Single Mom’s Holiday Around

At first Lilia didn’t want to take the money, saying it was too much. Finally, she asked Johnson if she could hug him and thanked him for his generosity. She explained that she’s a newly single mother to three- and five-year-old boys and that things have been hard lately.

“I raise my kids by myself without my husband,” she explained. “I don’t have any words because it’s so unexpected for me. [It’s been] a very hard time for me because I’ve been divorced for four months… thank you very much.”

“No, but thank you for just being an amazing human being,” Johnson added. “I love that, just the willingness to give this guy seven bucks. You didn’t even know him.”

Johnson then gave more hugs to Lilia and posed for photos with her and her friend. Later, he posted the exchange on Instagram and called on others to give back, too.

Opening Your Heart

How many of us would give a total stranger $10 without really questioning why they needed the money? Times are hard, and the cost of living is tough, yet this single mother still helped a random man just because he asked.

It’s an uplifting story because it proves there are many good people out there who are willing to help others, even when things haven’t been great for them. It’s also a reminder that we never really know what others are going through, and that everyone deserves some kindness in their lives.

If Lilia could stop and help someone she didn’t know, so can we the next time the opportunity comes up. If we don’t have any money, sometimes people just need to share their stories. Or receive a friendly smile. Or know that they aren’t alone. The important thing is to lead with empathy and kindness. Because you never know when you, too, may need someone to do the same for you.