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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Simple Act with Big Dividends

It had been a hectic morning. One of my dogs wasn't feeling well. And I was once again having trouble getting a prescription filled due to a 'manufacturing issue.' So I was a bit stressed.

But then, as I stood in line at the grocery store, I found the perfect thing to relieve my stress and make some other people feel good. Ahead of me in line was an elderly Native American woman. Small and with a weathered face, she sat in one of the store's electric shopping carts to do her shopping. So I quietly approached the cashier and told her that when she rang up the woman's purchases, I wanted to pay for them.

The woman was waiting to get a pen to complete her check. The cashier asked "Do you want to tell her?" So I said to the elderly woman, "You can put your check away. I'm getting your groceries for you." She looked stunned and asked me why. So I told her that someone had done the same thing for me once, and I told him that I would pay it forward. She asked to give me a hug, and then she gave me a blessing.

The woman, the cashier and I were all a bit teary eyed by then. The cashier told me that I had done a wonderful thing. She said that with so much violence and hatred in the world, it was nice to see something good. I replied that I hoped my simple act would start a ring of kindness.

The woman's groceries cost less than $20. But the look on her face, and the reaction of the cashier, were priceless. And I no longer felt stressed. It really does feel good to be kind to people with no expectation of anything in return. It also reminded me to be humble and never to forget the many blessings in my life. Giving back in some small way is a chance to put my gratitude into action.

Acts of kindness don't have to cost a lot of money, but their impact may be huge. Maybe, just maybe, if more people performed random acts of kindness, the world would be a nicer, happier, less violent place. We have nothing to lose, but oh so much to gain.