I know this sentiment seems a little cliche given how much it was trending this year, but how little follow-though there seemed to be — however, it’s still a good thought to keep. And I thought of it because of errands I ran today.
While out and about picking up stuff because we have guests coming in tomorrow, I stopped by B&N to peruse the shelves because:
2. I wanted to see if I could find a book that wasn’t in my local library system (It wasn’t at the bookstore either, which is interesting–Amazon it is!)
While there I picked up another book that looked interesting and like it could be worth a read or two (or more). There was a line to pay, but not unbearable. The store only had two people up front and it looked like one was just doing customer service stuff rather than ringing people up. The young woman left doing registers seemed to be fairly new, as she had to ask for help with things like exchanges or returns or store policies, and I felt for her. Likely the store didn’t think they’d be getting a bunch of customers at once on a mid-afternoon Wednesday, but it is summer.
Now I’m not the most patient person, I will own that up one side and down the other. But given everything that’s happened in the past two months, waiting in line in a bookstore when I didn’t really have any pressing place to be was not a big deal. (My husband has come up with a personal mantra pertaining to things that are not a big deal at all compared with losing a baby. It’s a bit crude, but helps to remember, so I was thinking of that while I waited.) The people in line behind me seemed fine, and the man in front of me and the woman in front of him were also being neutrally patient, but the guy in front of them was NOT. An older couple had gone before him and were asking the girl about returning something without a receipt when more than x-amount of days had passed, and she was trying to answer while also soliciting help. The guy in front was clearly agitated, kept bouncing from one foot to the other, shaking his head, emitting little puffs of exasperation, and he kept turning around to look at the rest of the line with a smirk on his face, hoping to see everyone else as miffed at he was (I assume). When he didn’t, he said loudly, “Um, I’ve got stuff here I’m going to PAY for!”
When it finally was his turn, he said his pleases and thank-yous but his tone was gruff and left much be desired and to me rendered his “manners” rather pointless. To her credit, the cashier stayed calm and cheerful but I was glad for her when he finally left. The woman that followed him needed to do an exchange, and I cringed for the cashier because the other associate who had been able to help before had gone elsewhere — and I knew it was entirely possibly that this woman could become even more irritable than the dude before her.
But she didn’t. She was kind, and considerate, and sincere, and even gracefully moved to the side to wait for the other associate to help her upon return. And then the man in front of me was kind to her and I was kind to her and I can only hope the rest of the people behind me were, too.
It isn’t really so hard, is it? To stop and just take a moment to be kind to another human?