Sometimes grocery store shopping can be irritating, almost a torture.
But sometimes it can be quite the opposite.
I was at Dillons the other day and found myself next to a young female customer in the produce department. As I reached up to select a container of fresh pico de gallo she asked me my opinion of the pico. We had a really nice conversation and she was so friendly. We visited for quite a while. She once operated a restaurant. And she actually enjoys chopping up jalapenos and onions by hand! At the end of the conversation she gave me a warm smile and said, “I hope you have a very blessed day.” I reciprocated with “I hope you do, too.”
Had we ever met before? No.
Were we in the same age group? No. She was young. I am….not.
Was she trying to sell me something? No.
Was this the first time I’ve had a pleasant conversation with a stranger in a public place? Certainly not, but it’s not an everyday thing for sure.
Grocery shopping isn’t my favorite experience, and usually I try to get in, buy my stuff, get out. I must admit, I’ve succumbed to complacency and avoidance when it comes to being outgoing and friendly at times. Fear of unfriendly reactions. Or blatant rudeness. Honestly, you can walk away from some encounters feeling pretty low about yourself and everyone around you.
But on that particular day I walked from the produce section with a smile on my face and something more. I can’t put my finger on how to describe the “something more”, but it was a very good feeling.
This young woman fed my soul. She made me feel worthy of her time. She reached out to me. She valued talking to me. She even valued listening to me. (That’s kind of a rare thing as you get older)
Maybe you’ve noticed: The world in general has become offish, unfriendly, harsh, dismissive. Borderline hateful. Sometimes even crosses the border right into mean and ugly.
Check your social media outlets. Mean and ugly is significantly more prevalent than simple kindness. And it spreads like wildfire. Like a killing virus. Destroying every person in its path. Yes, it destroys. I’m not over-reacting. Meanness destroys relationships, community, the tender hearts and spirits of children….and adults.
It’s an epidemic. Needs to be stopped, in my humble opinion.
Kindness generates kindness. As I left the produce department that day, my heart was light and I found myself looking for ways to reach out with similar friendliness to others in the store. Kindness begins with friendliness.
When the effects of kindness are so positively powerful, why are we so reluctant to be reach out with friendliness? What are we afraid of?
It’s such a simple act. Be nice. See what happens. Your kindness might just spread like wildfire. Your kindness might just change the world.
Or it might change the world for just one person. You!
P.S. please check out the caption to the picture below….kindness can be found in amazing places.
|New York City, in front of the Metropolitan Art Museum. We actually found kindness in large quantities in this city last year when our little niece was a cancer patient at a hospital there.|