Helping

My Happy and Sad Experience While Shopping Today

I have a lot of writing to do today. I have a class to work on any and all the creative writing I can fit in. However, I feel the need to take of moment and share my experience from this morning. I had a few places to go today so I decided to do it all early so I could have as much uninterrupted writing time as possible.

Let me back up for just a moment and tell you a little something about me. I’m in a hurry, all the time. I don’t know why but I tend to do things fast. I write fast, I walk fast, I drive fast, etc. I have no particular reason for this habit except I don’t like to move slow, (I think this is why I like action movies instead of drama).

So I was at Sam’s, having picked up the five things I needed and was walking towards the exit when an elderly man ends up in front of me. As I said before, I’m not known for my patience but it’s different in a situation like that. This man was walking very slow and deliberately. I got the impression he couldn’t go any faster.

I supposed I could have sped up and gotten around him but suddenly I wasn’t in so much of a hurry. I watched as others whipped around him and I could tell by the set of his shoulders he felt bad about his snail’s pace. Coincidentally, he was parked next to me. By the time we got to our cars the man was clearly exhausted. He didn’t have a lot of things but he did have some heavy items and I was going to offer to help him but he grabbed them quickly and easily and threw them in his trunk, so I put up my things and took back my cart while he finished up loading his car.

When he was done I asked him if I could take his cart for him and the look on his face was troubling. He was shocked, and grateful. He said thank you and I took the cart. When I got back he was still standing at the back of his car waiting for me. I told him to have a great day. He flashed a huge smile and told me I was very kind and he left, still smiling.

It made me happy and sad. I was happy because he genuinely needed the help. It was easy for me to push a cart six or seven car lengths but would have been hard for him. I was sad that he was so surprised. From one expression and then his deep gratitude I could tell my offer was rare. I got the sense most people found him a nuisance or at the very least a road block to get around. Most of the people rushing past him in the store today didn’t take the time to see this man was doing the best he could and wasn’t trying to inconvenience anyone. He is just a very old man doing everything for himself, by himself, for as long as he’s able. I felt like he not only needed, but deserved the help.

I wish more people would see it that way as well. I know there is a lot of nice people out there who would do the same as I did. I’m not saying everyone is a jerk. However, what if you’re the only one there who could help? Would you? I hope so.

Even though it made me a little sad, I’m glad this tiny thing made his day, and his beautiful smile certainly made mine.

I’m off to work on my class. Maybe I’ll write a happy story today.