Monday, January 21, 2013

A Simple Act of Kindness

Recently I found myself in our local Aldi's store to purchase some milk and a few vegetables. While I waited in line I noticed a young man, who obviously had autism or some other special need, intermittently ask persons what their birth dates were. He took in the information they gave him, asked their first name, repeated all the information back to them, all while sorting a fistful of one dollar bills. 

The store manager happened to be operating the cash register in my line that day; and although I don't know him well, I have spoken briefly to him over the years and he seems like a kind man.As I waited my turn, I overheard him telling folks ahead of me that the young man was just collecting information and that if he ever saw a person again he would remember their birthday. He was also collecting dollar bills within in a certain series and the store personnel would go through their cash drawers and exchange one dollar bills in the given series with the young man.

When it was finally my turn to pay, I told the manager how kind I thought it was that he allowed that young man to ask his questions and collect his dollars. "Some people would be annoyed or worried about what customers would think," I said. "And after all, he's not hurting anyone so it doesn't hurt us to be kind." The manager readily agreed that he thought the young man was hurting no one, I paid for my purchases, and I wished him a good day.

As I left, I thought about that young man and the kindness the manager had shown him, and I was glad to know that despite a world full of intolerance for those who are not quite normal, despite a world where people are often unkind, impatient, and self centered, there was an individual who chose to be kind, patient, and compassionate.  I like to think that I am that kind of a person too, but it was nice to see those good qualities in another individual and to be reminded of how we should treat others.

Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!

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