© Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
-Image by megapixl
I had a powerful experience yesterday, on a grocery shopping trip in Famous Big Store. Grocery shopping is supposedly a mundane activity. And I was tired when I went. I like the grocery selection in this Famous Big Store—let’s call it FBS for now—and so it was well worth pushing my afternoon energy level to make that trip and get the groceries I knew I would enjoy. FBS wasn’t crowded, and I easily found the items I wanted, right where they usually are displayed.
When others needed to navigate their carts near mine, everyone was very pleasant, and each second close encounter made me and them smile. The traffic has to be part of the fun, right? They didn’t know their smiles were making the trip easier for a woman who is often exhausted, majors in resting and goes for chemo too often.
-Image by megapixl
Cart fairly full, I advanced on the checkout lanes and took my best guess as to the line that would be shortest. Sometimes my energy crashes fast, and I wanted to get through the line and off to my car, before that struck. I was nearing my 1-hour horizon for being on my feet, albeit for a lovely grocery trip. I found a line with a cashier I hadn’t met before. No one was behind me except a 40-something woman considering the end display, holding only 2 or 3 small-child clothing items. I was feeling relaxed, and I was struck with the irresistible urge to invite her to check out ahead of me. Choosing to be brave, I spoke to the woman. It went something like this:
Me: Excuse me…Would you …like to go before me?
She with 3 items of tiny children’s clothes: in disbelief, well, I might…
Me gesturing. I have a bunch of things.
She: well OK…
Me: You just have several items…
She (accepting my offer): brightening. (Tiny clothes get checked out in seconds.) Well, thank you!!
Me: Of course! Take care. (woman goes, in a stream of happiness with a radiant smile)
-Image by megapixl
Cashier: that was really kind of you. Not like some of the behavior I’ve seen here today.
Me: Oh really? (Cashier nods deeply.)( I pause and she does not elaborate, but she shakes her head a bit and blinks, as if to shake off some rudeness she has received.) There’s a lot of hurt that people are carrying these days…
Cashier: face opening: yes!
Me: You know, they may be in pain, or they just found out they had cancer…
Cashier: or their child has something..
Me: Oh yes! We never know. And so often it comes out as grumpy or angry.
Cashier: or they didn’t get the promotion.
Me: And they were counting on the extra money.
Cashier: (puts my bags in my cart) I thank her saying my back appreciates that)
Me: It’s nice talking with you.
She: It’s nice talking with you, too. (BIG SMILE.)
I hope I see her again. The kind cashier did not know she was talking to a chemo patient, who is in pain, and whose husband died several months ago. She only knew she was talking to someone who understood pain and kindness—someone who really heard her frustration about her day—someone who knew her humanity and spoke with her as a fellow soul.
When we are face-to-face with another person, we can never know their whole story. We may only have seconds to be with them. Why not assume that, whatever challenges you and I are facing, this person in front of us has some of their own. Why not be kind—be generous with your smiles and your gentle listening. You may be amazed. And that will be you, moving ever more into being Healthy Happy and Loving Lifesm! And that is what I want for you.
Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert, holistic healer, and award-winning author who celebrates life. She has a 30-year natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. Among her books are: Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire, and Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine. The books are available on Amazon and through Kebba’s office. They are also available in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the Franciscan Renewal Center bookstore and at the bookstore at St. Barnabas on the Desert Episcopal Church. Or simply email us to order: firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you!