Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Random Acts That Connect

Today was one of those days when random acts somehow seem connected. Whatever one believes about how things happen or why, when it happens to me, I always think maybe someone or something is looking out for me. Here is a glimpse of my day today.

Random Act 1 (in the morning) – While I was checking out at the register today in CVS, a woman in her late 30’s and wearing casual, maybe even workout clothes, came in and asked the cashier for a shopping cart. The woman said the following, “I need a cart.” She had no smile, barely looked at the cashier and was in fact about 15 feet from the cashier. The cashier was kind and pointed to where the carts should be, but explained that often people take the carts off the property and don’t return them. . As I was watching this woman, I turned my attention to the cashier, when appropriate I made a point to include, “Please” and “Thank you.” The cashier then called for the manager. When he walked up to the customer, with no smile and little eye contact, she repeated, “I need a cart.” The manager said that he would go get her one. By the time the manager walked up, the cashier had completed ringing up my purchase. We might have even discussed the weather or some similar social banter. When I left, I smiled and said, “Thank you so much and have a nice day.” She said, “Thank you and have a great day” and she, too, smiled. This experience happened almost 12 hours ago and I am still annoyed by that woman. I left the store and knew I had an idea for today’s blog. I left before she got her cart. By the way, how much is she buying in CVS that she needs a cart?

Random Act 2 (in the afternoon) – On my way to a meeting, a man was holding an elevator door for me. What I found interesting was that I was quite a bit behind him; he heard me coming and was kind enough to hold the door for me. By the design of the lobby, I didn’t know that he was even in front of me so I was happily surprised when I saw him. I thanked him. And then he said something about how easy it is to be nice. Of course, I agreed. And just as he got off on his floor, he said something like this – “The Dalai Lama said today on the radio if you are nice in this generation, then the next generation will be better.” (I did try to look up the exact quote on the internet, but was unsuccessful.)

Normally, I would have been satisfied by a gentleman’s kindness. But today, it felt bigger and more important. After seeing the woman today in CVS, throughout the day, I thought about how we must stress the importance of manners and the critical need to be kind to one another. I was put in that elevator for a reason and I was grateful to receive the message from a kind gentleman.

At the end of every Ellen DeGeneres, she thanks her guests and says, “Be kind to another.” I think that is a great message to hear every day. And it is even better when we put it to action.

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