Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Kindness Challenge - Week One Update

Ultimately I believe I'm a kind person already, I thought I really tried to be kind to people in general, but this week has opened my eyes that I could be doing so much more. This week's challenge was to do acts of kindness for strangers. Some of the post comments were about people being extra courteous to wait staff and smiling at strangers. One wonderful soul posted about buying lunch for a homeless man (and his dog!) that she routinely sees. I absolutely love that her kindness overflowed not only for this man but for his companion too.

This week month summer has been pretty tight financially so I didn't really have a lot of extra money for this challenge, but I wanted to make an honest try. So. Friday was my day to go shopping for the Sisters (which is a whole different post in kindness, but we'll see where the challenge takes us, I may talk about it this month) and it just happened to fall on the first of the month (which if you work in retail you know is it's own breed of crazy) as well as our local tax free weekend so everyone in the county (well almost everyone) was at Walmart (which is where the Sisters have now requested that I do their shopping). When I shop for the Sisters I have two separate lists, two separate orders and two separate payments. Occasionally one of the Sisters has a list with no perishables and when that's the case I do her shopping, take it to the car and then go back and do the other Sister's list (it sounds like more of a hassle, but it keeps me from mixing up their orders in the cart). That was the case this week so I went to the short line (20 items or less) for the first order. I was behind an elderly woman who had WAY more than 20 items (as in a whole cart full) and this really irks me (I'm OCD enough that I count my items and if I have 21 I go to a regular line). BUT, I was determined not to let this upset me today and to continue on with the kindness. So, after the cashier has rung up her entire total, the woman tries to pay with a debit card that won't go through, pulls out a different card and uses it for $40 and then uses the original debit card and goes through. At this point I've been in line for more than 20 minutes (and there is a huge line behind me) and I know that once I get these few items out to the car I'll be back in the store to fill the long list for the other Sister. Once the woman is finally done and gone, the poor cashier tries to do her usual greeting asking about coupons and ad matches and is obviously very frustrated. A smile and few kind and patient words were all she needed to have that heavy spirit change. I can't say that I would have been mean to her without the challenge, I'm not really a mean person (unless you mess with my kids, but hey, that's normal, right?) but I do know that because of the challenge I tried extra hard to be nice to her at a time when she needed it.

There have been other examples of little kindnesses this week, but I listing them kind of feels like bragging so I'll stick with the story that impacted me.

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