Sunday, December 19, 2010
acts of kindness
a few days ago, i was in line at the grocery store behind two shoppers. the first was a woman who was purchasing $190.00 mostly made up of junk food, soda, snacks etc. i'm not judging her selections but it plays into my observations. the next person was an elderly woman who was buying 2 bags of cheese. she had 2 dollar bills and a plastic vial of pennies, nickels and dimes. she kept counting and recounting the change. my heart was aching for this woman as it appeared she was concerned she didn't have enough money for her cheese.
i wanted to step in and pay for it but held back. my head was spinning... would i embarass her, make her feel uncomfortable in any way, hurt her pride? i have given money to people in a grocery store before. it's one of those things that i feel compelled to do at times. my life is full of blessings and i can afford to share a little. usually i'll approach a person who is shopping with kids, hand them some money, say a quick greeting and then walk away. this was different because there were people around....
i didn't do anything this time, she had enough to buy the cheese, and life goes on. it is still playing in my head though.
why do we have to live this way? shouldn't food, shelter (and i'll add healthcare here) be a basic right? it appears not. this is not a political statement although i do have strong feelings of it's part. this is a mere story of the reality of conditions that exist and what we can do for each other as humans.
i shared this with my daughter who connected with it on the same level as i. she is saddened by the disparities that exist in our society. she told me her own experience she had a few days earlier. she and her husband belong to a church that does alot of outreach. they had shopped for sleeping bags and went as a group to an area of houston where there is a large amount of homeless people. she said she cried as she experienced her little part in sharing some warmth for these people. she's a first grade teacher in a poverty stricken area of texas where everyday she sees the unfortunate circumstances her little ones experience at home. she, in her own way, tries to lighten their loads. she is full of kind words, compliments, and hugs and smiles.
there are two reasons that i'm sharing this story...
in hope that others will pause a moment and look around. what better time than this holiday season to provide a "random act of kindness". a smile, a compliment, a hug, a few dollars, a sleeping bag, some food.
a small thing can make a big difference....
amanda, honey, i am so proud of the woman you are!