Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kindness at the Grocery Store

     Rather than planning on doing something specific, today I wanted to simply tune in to the opportunities to be kind that are all around me and to respond to what I see.  A trip to Wegmans, our local grocery store provided ample opportunity to do just that.  In fact, my chance came before I even made it into the store!
     As I pulled into the parking lot on this bitterly cold and windy day, there was the usual competition to find a spot as close to the front door as possible.  As luck would have it, someone was pulling out of a great spot just as I drove down that aisle.  Also as luck would have it, someone else started to approach from the opposite direction.  Remembering my strategy from the Eagles' game on Sunday, I let them have the spot and I parked further away.  With my new attitude, it really didn't bother me at all, and to be honest, it actually felt good to let them take the spot.  But there was more to be done.
     As I was walking toward the store entrance, I saw a mother with a bundled up infant pushing her cart filled with groceries toward her car.  I immediately went over to her and asked if I could load the groceries into her car for her so that she could more quickly get the baby out of the cold.  I offered to return the cart for her as well.  It was one of those little things that didn't require much of me, yet made her life a little easier at that moment.
     After only 6 days, I'm already realizing that the fabric of this year is going to be woven from tons of small, simple intentional acts of kindness like these.  The significance of each one may be small, but the collective impact they have on me and the ripples I send out into the world will be big.  In the past, I would never have gone out of my way to help that woman (and, indeed, she did seem surprised).  But as I change my point of view, it becomes only natural to see and respond to these opportunities, and they're fun.
     By the way, I also continued yesterday's emphasis on thinking positively about everybody I came across today.  It's getting easier already!

1 comment:

  1. These types of acts make such a HUGE impact. There is a story I'd like to share because it has stayed with me for quite awhile now. My next door neighbor had a couple of overflowing trashcans at the base of her driveway that she had forgotten to move out to the curb. The trash man spotted them, stopped the truck, and his partner jumped out and dragged the trash to the street where it was deposited into the back of the truck. No one was watching (or so the guys thought) and yet they went out of their way to perform this act of kindness. My neighbor never would have known it was them. She probably would have assumed it was a neighbor (which would be a kind act as well, but somehow because it was the trash collector, it elevated the act to a whole other level). Selfless acts like this one make all the difference.