Not So Random Acts of Kindness

Hand On HandHow far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. ~George Washington Carver

One of my all-time favorite quotes. I was graced with an opportunity to share it yesterday with someone who really needed to hear it – and hopefully, consider it. I stood in a busy grocery line, select items in tow. An elderly woman directly in front of me slowly, painstakingly removed the few grocery items from her basket and placed them one at a time on the conveyor belt. I heard the first annoyed sigh from behind me, followed by a deeper one from the checker. When the last item had been retrieved from her basket, she began the task of searching inside her purse for money to pay for the groceries. Her hands shook. The checker watched for a moment and then spoke with a tone of irritation, “Ma’am, we have a long line and you’re holding everyone up.” She looked up at him, obviously embarrassed by the situation. “I must have picked up the wrong purse.” She fumbled with the contents of her small brown purse, and then started to cry. Turning slightly, she glanced at me. “I’m really sorry.” It broke my heart. I moved quickly around my basket to place an arm around her frail shoulders and assure her, “I do that all the time, sweetheart. Don’t worry.” I paid for her groceries, and then summoned a young employee standing nearby to assist her. Looking again at me, she said tearfully, “God sent me an angel today.” I don’t know about that, but I’m hopeful that a young grocery clerk will remember the scene forever and the shared words of my friend George Washington Carver. Be kind. Someday, sometime in your life you will surely need the same. ~ Deborah Norris

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