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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
An act of kindness can make a differencePosted Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at 1:33 PM
"Be the change you want to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi
Since watching the several hours-long film about Gandhi in seventh grade, I was intrigued by his ideals of peaceful resolution, kindness and compassion.
I've always dreamed of making the world a better place in some way. I've come across volunteer opportunities, but in the past let them fall to the wayside as college courses, work and life in general got in the way.
I've always been a compassionate person with a smile on my face and a love for laughter, but -- like most people -- I found myself asking if I was doing enough.
I was consumed by my thoughts on Sunday, and couldn't help but feel like I was lost in some transient funk.
It wasn't until a trip to the store made me realize you don't have to go big to make a difference, but small acts of kindness can project onto complete strangers.
Our weekly grocery stock-up had run out late Sunday afternoon so I made a trip to the store to pick up some supper.
As I made my way to the checkout line, an older lady met me at the intersection of the main walkway and the register.
I noticed a graduation card and some tissue paper, so I told her to go ahead and step ahead of me.
"Are you sure?" she asked me inquisitively.
"Of course. It's fine," I replied with a smile.
She thanked me as she placed her items near the register, then thanked me once more before paying.
I replied with a smile, then assumed my normal waiting at the register by staring at the nearest inanimate object.
I could feel the woman looking at me, but didn't really think much about it.
After paying for her items she looked at me with the most sincerity I had ever seen, and thanked me once more before leaving the store with a smile on her face.
I was taken aback by her reaction to an act I hadn't even thought twice about, and I was forced to smile.
I realized we don't have to take on world hunger or rally for world peace to help people. Although, I wish I had the means to do all that.
The smile on a complete stranger's face through a simple, selfless act was enough to make my day.
As it turns out, I stopped at a deli the next day for lunch, and the gentleman in front of me gave me a big smile and told me to step in front of him. I was sure to return that sincere smile and thank you as the woman had done to me the day before.
Sabrina is a staff writer for the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 847-4487.
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