Sunday, January 17, 2010

Do a Good Turn - Days 15-18

In the interest of time I will blend these four days together.

EVENT - Better noticing

I have been working on keeping my eyes open to what's going on around me. There are so many things that can distract from living in the moment: phone calls, iPods, thinking about something in the future or the past, etc.. It's easy not to be present in the present. These good turns are a result of being consciously present.

Over the last few days I have given up my place in line for someone, returned an older woman's cart to the cart return for her, gone out of my way to hold the door for someone who has difficulty walking, helped my daughter with her laundry (She's 15 and does her own.), been extra nice to clients at work, and offered to pay for a guy's milk at the grocery store.

The guy at the grocery store was there early on Saturday morning. He was in the refrigerated section of the store holding a gallon of milk and his feety-pajama clad, toddler daughter on his hip, while patting down his various pockets with his free hand. He stopped after taking only a couple of steps, rechecked all his pockets, then headed back to the refrigerator door. He put the milk back and turned to leave. As he came closer to me I asked him if he had forgotten his wallet to which he replied that he had. I offered to pay for his milk. It was obvious that was the only thing he had come to buy. After my initial offer, the conversation went something like this.

Him - "No, that's okay."
Me - "No, really. It's less than three bucks and I even have the right change."
Him - "No. No. I just left my wallet out in the car."
Me - "I know you don't *need* it, but won't you let me do this for you? I sympathize with what a pain it is to have to go to the store on a Saturday morning for just one thing and carry your child all the way to the back of the store, only to find that you've left your money in the car. Let me save you the trip back to your car."
Him - "No. Thank you, though. I couldn't...really."

At this point I felt like I would have been pushing too hard and crossed the line from nice to obnoxious if I continued to insist, so I let it go. Here's the thing, though. Even with him refusing my offer, he still knew that someone noticed him and that his little plight stirred compassion in a stranger. That's a nice thing to know, don't you think?

COST - Nothing. If the milk guy would have let me pay for his milk it would have been $3.
EFFORT - To be honest, the biggest part of the effort for most of these was getting outside of myself. I have been sick for a couple of days and it's really easy to just mope around thinking about how crummy I feel.
TIME - All total less than a half an hour.
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN? - Yes, I would.


Erinn said...

You're experience exactly what went through when I had a sinus infection.

You're going a great job. Keep it up!

TKAstle said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Erinn. You must know I've hit a midway slump of sorts.