This afternoon I was in the grocery store. With my tiny little cart filled with oranges, leafy greens and bottled water I waiting through the line. While it seemed like the store was overfilled for a Tuesday and the lines were already long, mine seemed to never move. In the midst of flirting with some guy via text I looked up and saw the woman in front of me. She was hunched over with a cane and I just assumed that she was aging and needed to take that extra time. The young girls behind me just made fun of her and cursed and were impatient. I just went back to my half-ass flirtation.
The cashier who was checking her out was patient, very very patient. I noted that he held much more patience than not just the young girls behind me, myself but also just about anyone in a rush to get somewhere. It was about then that I overheard the lady tell the cashier that she’d just been hit by a car, not long ago and she had just gotten out of the hospital. It was obvious that she was in a lot of pain and that she didn’t have anyone else who would have gone grocery shopping for her.
It appeared that the store was short staffed and all the customers were sacking their own groceries. I decided to leave my cart where it was and go assist the woman sacking her groceries. While doing this, I’m not sure that her mind was at full capacity but the cashier who couldn’t have even been 18 yet had more patience than I could have imagined. He listened to her. He was helpful when she couldn’t remember her pin number and assisted her writing her check.
The whole process that should have taken about 10 minutes took about 40 minutes and by the time the lady was actually being assisted out the door with her groceries I was so thoroughly impressed with the cashier that I asked him to call his manager over. He had a look on his face of being petrified. I told him, “Don’t worry. I think you handled that customer better than most people would. I want to offer a compliment to your manager for you.”
He replied with, “I don’t usually get compliments and the ones that I do get are usually bad.”
First, I quickly realized that he didn’t understand what the word ‘compliment’ actually meant but second I was surprised that he really never had anyone say anything nice about him. That part made me a bit sad. There is this young kid who, in my opinion, went above and beyond helping someone and it didn’t seem hard for him. It seemed that it was in his nature but no one ever really noticed that before?
That, right there, is why I am so over all the negativity that is everywhere. It’s on TV, social media, in discussion with strangers or even friends. I understand today more so than in a long time why someone coined the phrase, “If you don’t have anything nice to say…”
After that I came home and watched a YouTube video about three women who felt ugly, unattractive and boring. An interviewer in the video told them that they were beautiful, strong women and each one cried. Two of these ladies where probably over 50 and one was around 16. It baffles me that they’d never heard that before. It almost made me cry because that’s something that almost everyone needs to hear.
Beauty doesn’t mean, to me, that someone is outwardly attractive or has a great body or whatever the latest H&M ad on TV wants us to believe is beautiful. Beauty is comprised of what is on the inside of a person. Who cares if someone offers you a bouquet of roses if inside the bouquet is a pile of shit. It doesn’t make sense to me.
If you are someone who holds in compliments or holds on to the label “beautiful” until you think you’ve seen someone’s appearance you’re missing the entire point of what we are here for and to be quite honest you’re a shitty person. If you are that type of person, I hope we don’t meet.
I am guilty of the same. It’s easier to compliment a stranger for me than to compliment someone that I see all the time but I will do better. I will choose to do better and to make a point of complimenting more. It’s amazing what a few nice words can do to someone. It’s a selfless act that doesn’t make much time at all. Something as small as telling a woman that she has a beautiful smile or telling a man that he looks nice in a shirt… Anything works.
I just finished submitting a customer comment on the grocery stores web site because that kid needs to know that he did a pretty amazing thing today. And that’s my gratitude for the day.