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"Be good. Do good...."

 Wednesday, May 6, 2015

“What I've come to learn is that the world is never saved in grand messianic gestures, but in the simple accumulation of gentle, soft, almost invisible acts of compassion.” 

I catch myself looking, studying, absorbing the people around me. I take in their appearance and mannerisms. I follow their gaze and wonder what holds their thoughts. I wonder where they are going. I wonder if our paths will ever cross again in this big world we share. What brought them there? Work? Play? Chance? What’s their life like? Are they planning their next vacation or are they stressing over their next meal? Is he ecstatic for that promotion? Did she just get laid off from her job, the only income on which her family survives?  
There are countless faces I see everyday, never truly knowing who they are or what their day entails. Everyday, we are all given the opportunity to change someone’s life. How is up to you. That frustrated and tearful mother in the supermarket with the screaming child. Instead of casting judgement and disdain for the mild inconvenience her toddler may have caused you, offer words of encouragement. “I’ve been there. It gets better.” The panhandler, begging ‘anything helps’. Many scoff, saying “get a job!” Maybe he’s one of the many veterans who have returned home and found themselves unemployed and homeless. 
This morning, I had to make a quick stop in at the grocery store.....while I was standing there in the baby isle with my sweet Bailey I couldn't help but to over hear a conversation a young girl was having on her cell phone. She couldn't have been no  more than about 17 or 18....with a young baby on her hip. I am not sure who she was speaking with...but she was explaining to the person that she had to buy diapers and wipes for daycare and put gas in her car so she could get back and forth to work....and she had a $20.00 bill in her hand...that's all she had. I could hear the desperation in her voice....and the tears threatening to spill over in her eyes. It instantly took me back to when I, myself, was an 18 year old single mom with a small baby boy on my hip...having to make that same choice. Only to get up the register and still not have enough money to buy the diapers and formula. I was 3 dollars shy of having the total amount due.

I can remember standing there, voice cracking, tears welling up in my eyes as I tried to figure out what to do. Then I felt a warm hand being placed over mine and looking up to an older gentleman handing me a $20.00 bill and saying "Here you go young lady....get what you need." I couldn't hold back the tears any longer and I thanked him profusely....He told me not to mention it....that he just wanted to help. I vowed that if I ever saw him again...I would pay him back and let him know just how much is act of kindness and compassion meant to a struggling teenage mother. I still haven't gotten that chance.

While I was standing there listening to this young girls conversation, I couldn't help myself. As she ended her phone call, I asked her what size diapers she needed. She looked at me like I had 2 heads....but told me that she needed a size 2. I grabbed a huge box of size 2 diapers and a box of wipes off the bottom shelf, grabbed Baileys hand...and told the young girl to follow me to the cash register. After I paid for the items, I handed them to her. It was then that I saw the same face I must have had 12 years ago looking back at the older gentleman. She had tears in her eyes and she thanked me profusely. I told her that no thanks was just remember this moment later in life...and return the favor for someone else.

 My point here isn’t to hand over all your cash to the next panhandler you see. The point is, you run across dozens of people everyday. You don’t know their background. You don’t know the troubles they face. You don’t know how they ended up where they are today.  Sadly, it seems our first instinct is to judge when it should be to LOVE. More often than not, all that is needed to change someone’s day for the better is a few kind words. We possess the ability to leave a lasting impression on any one person, why not take that opportunity to be compassionate rather than bitter? 

I don't know this girls background....I don't know her story. I don't need to. I just did what I felt like I needed to in my heart. 
Our society has become stricken by greed. Where in the decades past have we forgotten what it is to be cordial to one another?   We are consumed with materialism and technology. Hate and slander obtruding into our minds on a daily basis through media. What have we become that our priorities do not lie as a Nation Under God, but in removing Him from the establishments in which we need him most! Civility and compassion has become an after thought when it should be second nature. 
Whenever you find it your heart to show mercy, know that you are doing as you were called to do. We are all here for a specific purpose . Let it not be the cause of someone else’s pain.

Be good. Do good. 


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