So many jokes begin with “A funny thing happened on the way to the (insert destination here)”. For me, it happened most recently at the grocery store.
While picking up a couple items for dinner, I spied a woman who abandoned her cart between cars versus returning them to the corral. Do I think she could have made a better effort? Yup. Would I ever chastise someone for it? Never, because I don’t know that person’s story.
I prefer taking this approach: “Would you like me to bring that back for you?”
Eighty percent of the time, it gets a smile every time (thank you Brian Fantana of ‘Anchorman’).
On this particular day, she smiled and said ‘Thank you so much!”
As I approached the store pushing her cart and pulling another stray I’d picked up along the way, an older couple approached.
The gentleman pointed his cane toward the larger carriage and smiled.
I felt like a used car salesman as I informed him: “Sir, you’re going to love this carriage, the handle’s warmed up and the wheels hardly wobble.”
He laughed and thanked me for the handoff.
Once inside, I gathered my items quickly and made my way to the checkout.
If I have a couple extra dollars, I always tell myself that I’ll help pay for the person behind me.
I observed an older woman with one item and told her “You definitely want to be at this register today.”
Nope. I struck out, as she said “No thank you, I’m going over here.”
Ugh…some days it sucks when you WANT to do something nice, but it doesn’t happen.
Oh well. Could have been the way I was dressed: Messy hair, baseball cap, dirty and sweaty in jeans and t-shirt as I had just cut the grass at my mother-in-law’s house.
Another woman approached, and I repeated my suggestion about ‘this’ register.
She complied and put a paper bag on the conveyor belt.
“You don’t have a lobster in there, do you? I asked.
She giggled and replied that it was four muffins.
Excellent! I had muffin money.
My usual request of “My family and I try to do an act of kindness every day and would you allow me to pay for those?” was met with a smile and a yes.
There’s just one thing I need you to do, though.
“Pay it forward?” she asked.
I laughed and shook her hand. She introduced herself as Bonnie.
Jon the Clerk smiled and said “I love it when people do this at my register.”
As I walked cheerfully to my car, I thought about that shopping trip, which took all of 8 minutes.
Two shopping carts, four muffins…many good feelings.
We are ALL surrounded with opportunities to share a kindness or two (or four) EVERY day.
Sometimes we get to do them. Other times it may not work out as intended.
But we must continue to try, because when it works…it’s MAGIC.
If you’ve never heard of the Helper’s High, look it up. It is real.
It can be a bit of a buzz-kill when we want to get high and our supplier doesn’t deal…but Bonnie and her muffins were worth the wait.
Here’s to you, and your next kindness moments and missions.
Welcome to the Giving Game, your HIGHness!