A Kindness Costs Nothing!

Dear Friends,

A hazy, chilly morning greets me today. It reminds me of fall in New York,
what I consider the “serious part of the year” because it begins to wind
down. October shows off Nature’s colors in my surroundings, the verdant
hills invite daydreaming and I have to remind myself to stay in the present
moment or be in danger of letting the day get away from me. Get out early
today, enjoy a day potentially filled with gratitude and many blessings.

In an effort to make the shopping experience easier, some multinational
retail stores have added self-checkout kiosks where the shopper scans the
items, bags them and then presents the receipt to a cashier who completes
the purchase. Despite having experienced this situation in New York, I
usually have our kids help me out so I don’t pay very much attention to the
procedure. I was not ready for this reality last week when I was shopping in

I was standing next to a stranger who was in the same predicament. He was
not happy with the situation and voiced his opinion loudly. On another day, I
might have been graced with more patience and might have consoled him, but
my items were getting heavy (since I was just buying a few things, I didn’t get
a basket) and I was in a hurry. I knew from experience that at least a couple of
manned lanes had to be working for situations like this. I got off the line and
walked quite a distance (the four cans of green beans making dimples in my
arms) until I was successful. I put my items on the conveyer belt and noticed
the cranky stranger had followed me and was now at my elbow.

He continued his tirade, looking in my direction and hoping for sympathy.
While I did nod in agreement, I also pointed out that when one shops in these
types of stores, the human contact he seemed to be yearning was on a limited
basis. Unhappy with my reply, he huffed away. I confess I felt a little guilty
that I had disappointed him with my frank response. As I left the store, I
resolved to spend rest of the day seeking an opportunity to show a stranger
some kindness. It was a lesson for me and I hope to remember it often.

Have a wonderful day and a terrific week, Marietta

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