Wednesday, December 23, 2015

It cost me 4 dollars to put a smile on everyone's face (#2518)

I needed some gas for my truck as I am going on a bit of a road trip, about 100 miles round trip, so this early morning I went to go get gas at the local gas station. I went inside to prepay for my gas and was waiting in line patiently as an older man was trying to buy a gallon of milk. After a few minutes of unsuccessfully being able to pay for it, the clerk, who saw that the waiting line at his only open register was growing long told the man to take the milk back to the cooler and motioned for the next person in line to come forward. At this point I, who was just behind the next person in line, spoke up forcefully but with care and told the man to put the gallon of milk back on the counter and that I would pay for it. He sheepishly did as I requested and when it was my turn I prepaid for my gas and his gallon of milk. When I looked around while leaving the store I noticed everyone who was in line looking and smiling at me. Even when I got to the counter to pay the over worked and underpaid clerk had also smiled and gave me a head nod of approval. At 6 in the morning when everyone is just trying to get to where they are going and not in any mood for weirdness, it seemed that my little kind gesture brought out the happy in everyone even if for just a moment. When I gave the man his milk he was very humbled and thanked me profusely. 4 bucks is what that moment cost me and I will tell you that I am very glad that I had an extra 4 bucks at the time to share. It doesn't take much from us to make someone else feel better about themselves or to give someone the gift of a smile. Yet often we miss the many opportunities all around us. Even just saying hello to someone out of the blue or doing something helpful that isn't required or asked of. I once learned a simple but valuable lesson from a departed good man, Always put your shopping cart back in the queue when finished with it. It is like that to set an example for others to see even when we go out of our way to do it. Just being a good person and not so cynical when that seems to be the regular order of things.

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