Change the World ~ One Grocery Cart at a Time?

When is the last time someone surprised you by doing something nice for you?  You didn’t ask for it, they just did it.  Maybe your child took out the trash without being prompted or someone at the grocery store let you go in front of them in line because you only had a couple of things.  Or the big ugly truck let you “cut-in” a line of traffic?  Did it make you feel like there was still human kindness in this world, or did you even give it another thought?

Some days I really do think our world is going to hell and fast.  It can be such a hurry up place, no one has patience, and FORGET customer service.  People honk at each other, make rude gestures, cut you off in traffic, run red lights  and say things that they would never put on their resume.  How did it come to this?  Is this how your parents taught you to treat other people?  Would you be proud to know your child acts like this when you are not around?  Is it too late to stop the madness?

I was putting my shopping cart away in the parking lot of the grocery store a while back, when I noticed an elderly gentlemen finishing up putting his groceries in his car.  I just wheeled my cart over and said, “Here, I’ll get that for you.”  I’ve done this a million times for folks, no big deal. (plus loose carts are my pet peeve!)  But on this day, the man put his hand on the front of his cart, while I had my hand on the end of his cart and he said, “Why would you want to do something nice for me?” Well, what do you say to that unexpected question?!  I looked him in the eye and said, “Because people should be nice to people and maybe you will pass it on to someone else.” (yep~ I was winging it ~ and with  impromptu, I still need a backspace button and sometimes a “delete”) He went on to tell me how this was the second time that day someone had done something good for him and he felt so blessed.  I stepped to the side of the basket and said, “I have something I’d like to give you.”  I slipped two blue bracelets off of my wrist and handed them to him.  “One of these is for you”, I explained, “and  the other is for you to share.  They say LIFE IS SHORT, PEACE IS SWEET.”  I went on to tell him, “This was the favorite saying of my brother-in-law, Eldon, who was taken from us too soon.  I wear these to share with random people and to always remember him.”  He stepped in, took the bracelets and slipped them onto his wrist.  “This will be given away by the end of the day,” he said, then paused a bit ~  “And you know you will see him again one day, don’t you?” he went on , “so don’t be sad, your brother-in-law is in the best place ever, and he’s in good company.”  I thanked him for his kind words, went to the car with tears in my eyes, and I thanked God for His still small voice.  I was the one who was blessed in all of this.  And I could have missed the moment, had I not listened.

I believe there is still hope for people. It must start with me. It must start with you. We can lead by example.  We just need to slow down long enough to stop and listen to our heart…..and then follow it ♥  Pay it forward people ~I’m sure going to try. ♥

(Mary Blaxton, I love you ~ and I did not “blog” you! 😉 )

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10 Responses to Change the World ~ One Grocery Cart at a Time?

  1. Christi says:

    Another wonderful post! How much better the world would be if everyone would heed your words.

  2. Beth says:

    Loved this post! Thank you for sharing and remind us about how we need to be kind to strangers, not just to those we love.

  3. Juliana says:

    Love this post Paula, thanks for sharing, and for being a blessing..:-) Have a blessed day!

  4. Thanks Christi ~ honestly, it’s a reminder for ME to not give up. We all have those days when we wanna give up. But Life really is Short and Peace is Sweet . You’re a dear ♥

  5. This comment was posted by Debbie G. on the corresponding facebook page. I wanted to share it here, too. Thanks Debbie!!! I know you more than made this lady’s day!

    Beautiful story. You have taught me so much by example of paying it forward. I have a similar story at Walmart. Sweet elderly woman who was looking for rollers. She was in a wheel chair so I pushed her around till we found the rollers. She only needed a few but had to buy the full package. Sadly she couldn’t afford the 7.99. I reached into my billfold and gave her 20 dollars, she had a few other things on her list to get. She looked at me and said ” why would you do that”. I told her I wanted to and please take it. If not for her but for me. I have kept this to myself for a long time. After reading your blog I felt that God wanted me to share this. I did nothing. I can drop 20 dollars on something and have not remember what I bought. I know this isn’t about money. It’s about being sensitive to others and giving of yourself to help them. Thank you so much for sharing your story it made my day. Love you!!

  6. renae says:

    Great blog and wonderful reminder that the smallest acts of kindness can be so appreciated!

  7. Tammy says:

    What a heartwarming story and an excellent reminder. I am trying not to focus on the people that show inconsideration and rush through life. Each time I do something considerate, I notice the change in myself and the appreciation from people who are so surprised about an act of kindness. Paying it forward really does matter. Way to go!

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