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

The Years Teach Much

Ralph Waldo Emerson penned so aptly, “The years teach much which the days never know.” Life experience can be one of Parent Holds The Hand Of A Small Childour most priceless possessions, especially if we learn the many valuable lessons within it. If you had the opportunity to converse with a younger self, what might your advice be?

Step Out From the Shadows

The truth can often be brutal. Withholding the truth for the sake of “protecting” can be even more brutal. Once upon a time, I believed there were a myriad of things I needed to protect, that I must CaptureForestGreenprotect. The list was long; family, friends, neighbors, strangers, past, present, future, integrity, reputation, even my faith. The truth doesn’t ask to be withheld, and people should not be protected from it. Allowed to accomplish its perfect work, Truth has the power to set us all free. When I was a child, my parents and I would often go camping on the weekend in our small trailer. We had a favorite camp site located next to the river and under the tall Idaho pines. Because our “spot” was almost a hundred miles from home, we would usually arrive long after dark on Friday night. Once we were settled in bed, I would gaze out the small upper bunk window at the towering pines, thinking how big and unfriendly they appeared in the night shadows. I’d then snuggle deep into my sleeping bag, close my eyes, and dream of morning. When the first rays of sunlight appeared, I would again look out the small window. The huge pines which had seemed so threatening in the dark now glistened in the morning sun. Truth tenderly whispers when it’s time to step out from the shadows and into the light of day. -Deborah L. Norris