I consider myself to be a pretty upbeat, friendly person. I am happy much of the time, and I take that happiness out into my world. Going to the grocery store is no exception. Aside from the fact that I love to go grocery shopping, especially for a special holiday meal, I enjoy interacting with other people.
Last night, my family and I were getting some items for our Thanksgiving feast for today. We were in line, getting our items checked out. The store was somewhat busy, but the people around us all seemed to be in a happy mood. People were starting conversations with us and smiling easily.
As we were getting checked out, a cashier from the aisle next to us started handing us coupons, for this item or that. I thanked her a couple of times. Then, she came over to our line, and gave us an additional coupon for our visit. I thanked her again, for being so generous to us, that I deeply appreciated it.
She told me, that she remembered that I am always so nice and kind when I come into that grocery store, that she wanted to do something in return for me.
I was stunned. You see, I give, just for the sake of giving. I haven’t always been that way. In the past, although I have always been a giving person, I would often get caught in the trap of giving, with an expectation of being shown gratitude for it in return. I always expected something back, even if just a thank you. When that wasn’t expressed, I would use that as an excuse to feel resentful.
I understand now how much more meaningful it is for me to give, just because I want to. That the giving is not about me, it is about what I want to offer to someone else. That when I remember the purity of the intention, then the result, the outcome does not matter one bit.
I asked this cashier last night, after she told me this, if I could give her a hug, and she said yes. When I hugged her, and she hugged me back, tightly, I felt our hearts connecting as one. I remembered, yet again, the uniqueness and universality of us as human beings. That we all are one, even when we forget that. That we never know how our actions may impact the lives of others, at any time.
That any small gesture of kindness, given freely and without expectation, brings gifts that are beyond measure.