Holidays have a way of reminding us about all the things we are grateful for. They have a way of motivating us to help others and do good. I think we can agree though that we should strive for these things to be present in our lives on a daily basis and not just on special occasions.
The Checkout Line
As I was in the checkout line the other day I was hit profoundly with feelings of gratitude once again. Perhaps it stemmed from watching a young woman with child in hand, count her change as she tried to pay for an amount that exceeded her EBT allotment. Her embarrassment became evident as she rifled through her purse explaining that she had a job, she was sorry for miscalculating, please remove all these items and so forth.
I looked around at other by standers who were watching the scene unfold. This woman was not in any way being loud or obvious about her situation. You’ve seen it before though… as quiet as she was trying to be people started wondering what the hold up was. Things were further exemplified by a cashier looking all around with irritation and impatience so as to make it obvious to everyone that it was not her fault things had come to a standstill. Soon it seemed like everyone in the entire store was watching and trying to figure out what the commotion was all about.
No Money – What Would You Do?
Have you ever witnessed a scene like this before? I see it on occasion and the first thing I will observe is how others react. Will it be with compassion and a willingness to help out? Maybe some people stand by seemingly sympathetic while, others become impatient or even angry thinking she must be taking advantage of the system (granted it happens, but that is probably not the majority).
I don’t know about you, but I feel compelled to help out in these situations when I can, and with as much discretion and grace as possible. There have been a couple of times where I’ve witnessed someone else step up to help and it makes me feel warm all over. Most of the time however, I see what I did on this day, where no one comes forth. Maybe they can’t or maybe they just don’t want to, but I always think about how it would feel if I were ever in this situation.
I’m not going to tell you what I did. That isn’t the point. We don’t do something to get something otherwise, our intentions are skewed. It isn’t about receiving credit or making ourselves feel good. It’s about treating others as we want to be treated. It’s about helping and caring for people just because it’s the right thing to do (not out of pity.) It’s about loving people, because they are just like you and me.
As I went back to my register, I couldn’t help but have tears of gratitude for the ability to pay for the food I was about to buy to feed my own child. I tried to hide those tears, as I checked out. The cashier and the woman bagging my items suddenly dawned huge smiles and engaged me in happy and enthusiastic conversation. Most of the on lookers seemed touched however, there were a couple of people who seemed very irritated that I had held up our line too, even if it was to do a good deed (there’s always one in every crowd isn’t there!)
I only share what others reactions were, because the women dawning the smiles had previously not been smiling at all and were complaining about having to work late, it being too busy, the holiday rush starting, etc. My point is…
Isn’t it amazing what experiencing a good deed can do for everyone?
It has the ability to change the perspective of others and even help indirectly.
How wonderful is that?!