It was a few days before Christmas. Tired and cranky, I snarled at the people who took MY parking space and glowered at the slow walking window shoppers sucking on their lattes while I was on a mission… the list..The Christmas list seemed to be ever increasing while the credit card made jaunty payments as I watched horrified.
In the mayhem I visited a vintage market full of recycled furniture, clothes and a utopia for finding pre-loved but classy children’s clothes. (As if they care about classy!) I found THE 2 must have dresses for my granddaughter. It’s her first Christmas and the adults are beside themselves planning the celebration. These are the 2 dresses that would complete the season’s collection of must have kids wear and my status as super-granny would be secured. An older lady supporting herself on crutches (about as old as I am!) commented on how the lovely the dresses were and we stopped to chat for a few minutes about the importance of this first baby Christmas for our family. We wished each other well and a Merry Christmas and I was on my way, laser beam focused on the next find.
When I came to the check out the sales assistant handed me a small box. She explained that it was a gift from the lady I had spoken with. She had paid for it and wanted me to have the very pretty ornament to wish me well for this special Christmas. The sales assistant and I both stopped in that moment, felt goose-bumps for the kindness of this very special stranger. She had left the building and there was no way I could thank her personally.
What struck me was the difference this act of kindness had made to my day, but more than that, to validate again the innate goodness of people. The ripples of this kindness slowed me down, gave focus to what is really important in this season and invigorated the hope and optimism that propels me into each new day. Thank you, dear stranger. It’s my turn now to pay it forward.