It was late in the afternoon when I made a quick stop at a busy grocery store. The store was filled with people doing the same as me. The checkout lines were long, and people seemed to be in a hurry (and troubled by the long lines), and the few cashiers available. I chose the line that looked the shortest, as we all do, and then I did not have anything else to do but wait, and wait.
The cashier in our line, was a young man (perhaps in his late teens or early twenties). It was a bit unusual, as there is usually women doing the job at this time of the day. I wondered to myself, if he was working his way through the local college? I watched him calmly, efficiently and kindly tackle the task in front of him, with a smile for everyone. To me, it seemed like a stressful task, with so many people(some quite impatient) lined up and waiting.
When it was my turn, I was so caught up in unloading my cart, and thinking of the things I had to do when I got home, that I almost forgot to acknowledge him. I wondered how many times in the past, that I did forget to do that. But, this time I did acknowledge him, and I told him that in observing him, I noticed the efficiency, the calmness, and the kindness with which he tackled his job...... that I wasn't sure I could have handled it the same way. His eyes lit up and he thanked me.
I left the store with a smile. His kindness lifted my spirits.
Later in the evening, I was thinking back over the simple, quiet example I had witnessed in a large, crowded grocery store, and it made me pray that I would be able to share kindness with those I come in contact with day in and day out. It made me aware of what a difference that can make in an ordinary day's events.
Awhile back, I read a quote on kindness that stuck with me;
It was shared by Mother Teresa;
"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness;
kindness in your face,
kindness in your eyes,
kindness in your smile."
Pictures from my archives of unsolicited kindness, being exhibited in the midst of everyday happenings.
Or like John Wesley put it;
"Do all the good you can.
By all the means you can.
In all the ways you can.
In all the places you can.
At all the times you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as you ever can."
Kindness did make a difference in my day yesterday and so many days of my life.
Let me never forget, that "kindness does give birth to kindness", as I face my day today...no matter if I feel like it or not. And, thanks to the young man at the checkout, for reminding me of this important fact of life.
Hoping you each have the opportunity to show alittle kindness to someone today!
Thanks for the words of encouragement regarding the showing of kindness...every day in little and big ways.
Very true Judy. If we would just be willing to look around us we can see the good things people my do unknowingly to lift person's spirit.
Good to be remind to be kind to people everyday. Thanks for your post.
Oh I LOVED this (like all of your posts) and you are soo right. A very simple act of kindness can go soo far in lifting someones spirits. Your poems reminded me of a little song I use to sing my Sunday school class of 3 year olds that I did for several years...it was sing songey and no big deal but the kids loved it...
"Be kind, Be kind, Be kind to each other...Be kind, Be kind, Jesus loves like no other.." I can still hear their little voices.
Thanks for always lifting my spirits here. : )
Wow! Powerful thoughts put into words. I love that quote by Mother Teresa. Your observation brought back a memory of when I was a cashier in my late teens ... and how someone paid me a compliment about my smile. Okay... this is how long ago? What an impact one kind observance can make!
I too LOVED this post and the kind message it contains. It seems that too often those long grocery lines bring out the worst in people. How sweet of you to consider the pressure this young man was facing and how capably he was handling it all. I am sure you made a big impact on his day.
As Jewel says, in one of my favourite songs Judy "in the end, only kindness matters."
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