Did you know that you are blessed? Yes you, the pretty one behind the screen… you are blessed.
You see we are all blessed in different ways, which we can use to be a blessing to others. That is why giving, paying it forward, and charity are so effective at improving society. Obviously, I am not talking about giving away large sums of money (who has large sums of money sitting around anyhow?). I am simply referring to the random daily acts of giving, those that enhance someone else’s life.
My Trip to the Grocer’s
Today I went to my local grocery store. I have been there several times and I am well aware of their cart control system. You see, each shopping cart has a little box attached to the handle which receives quarters. In order to free your carts from the others, you must insert a key (the quarter). Once you are finished shopping and you place the cart in the corral, you get your quarter back (perhaps they should upgrade to the Sacagawea coin?). However this .25 cent deposit works wonders in keeping the store’s cost down, not once have I seen a parking lot full of carts.
But of course, today I leave without my stinking quarter! As I approached the cart corral I frantically searched my pockets.
Car keys?.. check
Cell phone?.. check
Grocery List?.. check
Quarter?.. “AW, $#%CRAP@#$!!!”
So I spun around and charged back toward the car. This is when things got interesting…
As I began speed walking to the farthest parking spot in the lot, I was approached by an older gentleman. I was a little startled at first, not noticing the quarter in his hand.
“Here son, I have an extra one.”
“That’s okay I’m sure I have one in the car. But thank you, sir.”
“I don’t think you understand me son. This is a gift, my gift to you… You have two choices, accept it with gratitude or decline it with an insult.”
I was shocked. First of all, I had failed to recognize a simple act of kindness. Secondly, I don’t like being taught lessons I should already know. But, he was absolutely right. Without hesitation and without reservation – this man had witnessed someone in need, was able to help, and did so. The complexity or severity of the need does not matter. Solving a person’s problem through an act of giving and kindness is what is important.
So I accepted the quarter.
“Thank you very much, sir.”
“You’re welcome son, have a great day.”
He went into the store and went about his business and I never saw him again. I bought what I needed, placed everything in the car, and returned the cart.
I decided that I wanted to find someone who needed a quarter. After 10 minutes, I started to get impatient knowing that I may have looked like a weirdo, as I watched people approach the corral. Tisk, tisk – was I the only memory challenged person in this zipcode? Everyone seemed to have remembered to bring their quarter…
I won’t say how long I stood there, but finally I noticed a woman with two children searching through her purse… obviously unable to locate a quarter.
“Here you are ma’am, I’m just returning a favor.”
“Thank you very much, you have a blessed day.” She gathered the two youngsters and proceeded into the store.
As I causally walked back to the car, I realized that I had learned two things that day from two complete strangers.
- Helping someone in need, no matter how small can completely change someone’s day.
- If someone chooses to help you, accept their gift. This is because giving feels just as good as receiving.
If we all just live in gratitude and pay it forward, our own little worlds will be so much better!