I didn’t say what the stranger needed to do in order to meet my criteria, but I did want it to be something that you don’t really see in everyday life.
I’m notorious for asking the cashier at the drive-thru to use whatever change I should be getting on the person behind me (at least a couple of bucks), having store cashier’s use the remainders of gift cards on a family that looks like they could use the help, stopping in heavy traffic to let someone on the sidelines get on the street. These all seem little, but it may make that other person’s day a little better. And to make this world a better place, to make someone’s shitty day a little easier, these are things I can do to help. A small step is better than none.
But for this one to be checked off, it took a little more than that.
At the grocery store a couple of weeks ago there was a man at the register, an older woman waiting in line behind him, and then me. This man didn’t speak English, he looked hungry, tired, defeated, and the language barrier was making it impossible for him to understand that he didn’t have enough money for the few food items he was buying. When the issue finally filtered through, the man dug through his few groceries, trying to decide what to let go of. And that was when the woman in front of me paid for everything for him, had him keep his money, and sent him off with a friendly smile.
The look of hope, that light within him, grew and blossomed, and it was a beautiful sight to witness. I admit to growing a little teary eyed. I have known what it is like to have your inner light burn out, to not have enough to meet your most basic needs, to have no hope left, I could only imagine what it was like to have someone else light it for you again, to give you hope again, just because they could.
We are constantly bombarded with what’s wrong with the world. My thinking is we need to focus on what’s right, and find ways to change or improve the rest.
How is your inner light doing? Is it bright and blinding? Is it burning low? Can you share some of yours to help another? Do you need someone to share some with you?
My main line of thinking is never give up, someone out there is willing to help you find your way out of the dark again.