Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Please Go Ahead

A kind word spoken to an elderly resident of an assisted living home. A cheery Merry Christmas to the frazzled clerk behind the counter. Maybe, just a simple "please."

Acts of kindness can be simple and they can be completely spontaneous.

We were traveling over the holidays and had stopped at the state line to stretch our legs and take a 10 minute much needed break. The parking lot was packed. There were long lines of cars just waiting for someone to pull out. All the while, the kids were fidgeting in the backseat saying, "Hurry, hurry." You get the picture.

The hustle and bustle of the crowds all merging at the one door ahead of us caught my attention. The different languages being spoken to the children, all who had the same look of Christmas expectation on their faces, was amazing.

I stood in line patiently. I say patiently, because what else is there to do? There was no puddle at my feet, so I could stand and wait. Ah, my time was almost there. The door at the end opened. It was a large door- one that is just perfect when extra help is needed. I looked behind me and saw a young mother with her small ones in tow.

"Merry Christmas," I chirped. "Please, go ahead and take my spot."

She was shocked that someone would let her go to the head of the line. She tried to be polite. I quietly insisted another door would open soon.

Gratefully, she went ahead with her young children.

Yep, a small act of kindness doesn't require much. The smile of gratitude on her face was enough to make me smile. And then, of course, my door opened wide.

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