From time to time I encounter a person- or witness an event that has a profound effect on me. Such an event happened the day before Christmas.
Some would call it a simple act of kindness. It happened at a supermarket. An elderly lady was at the checkout. She was counting out bills and change, paying her bill. The man behind her realized she was searching the bottom of her purse, looking for loose change- trying to come up with enough to pay what was due.
Without hesitation he placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. Though I was behind him, I couldn't hear what he said to her. He spoke very quietly. He handed the cashier money. She, in turn, handed the elderly lady all her money back. The good Samaritan then stepped around and quickly bagged the elderly lady's groceries and placed them in her cart. The elderly woman began to cry. His response was to give her a quick hug, again saying something to her, and sent her on her way. He then paid for his items and left.
I was next in line. I realized that the cashier had tears in her eyes. I couldn't help myself. I asked what had just happened. This was what she told me:
As the elderly woman struggled to find money to pay her bill, the gentleman asked her for a favor. He said it was his mother's Birthday. His mother had passed away a few years ago. He was feeling sad that he no longer could give her a Birthday present. Could he give his mother a gift by buying the elderly woman's groceries? He said he knew his mother would like that. When the elderly woman began to cry, he hugged her and said -"You have given me the gift of honoring my mother! Thank you!"
Needless to say, the cashier was not the only one with tears! I too was profoundly touched.
I know that the events on the news of horrible things that have happened lately have broken many a heart (mine included) , and have caused me to wonder if the world has gone insane. I realize that I have had a silent wish to be witness to something GOOD, something SELFLESS, some act of KINDNESS! Perhaps this gentleman was an angel, and was in front of me at the store, fulfilling my wish.
So yes, I got my Christmas wish. And to what ever power there be, may this kind gentleman be blessed! The gift he gave in honoring his mother was also a gift to me, to the cashier, as well as the elderly woman.
We never know when we reach out with even the smallest of kindnesses, how many peoples lives we actually touch in a positive way! I guess that's the "Pay it forward" concept!
What a wonderful idea!