Impacting People’s Lives… Moment by Moment

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As I was pulling up to the ATM today, a woman with a big SUV cut right in front of me. I immediately got annoyed. There was no way she didn’t see me. She zoomed right in front of me and I had to slam on my brakes to stop from hitting her. I was fuming. Instantly I was in a  negative mood.

I took a deep breath and tried to nip it, but the pause didn’t help much. I decided to get out of line, park, and walk in the bank and use the indoor ATM. I thought maybe some fresh air would help calm me down.  It helped a little, but not as much as I hoped. I thought to myself, I do not want to keep this feeling. What am I going to do to get rid of it? I knew I had to make a choice to flip my tables. My next stop was the grocery store. As I walked into the store, I decided I was going to intentionally find people in the store and impact their life in a positive way. I was hoping this would boost my spirits and flip me back to my positive mood.

My first “victim” was an older woman who was standing next to a cooler and she looked confused. I asked her if I could help her. She was having trouble finding something so I guided her to the right area. She grabbed my hand and said, “Thank you honey.” Her appreciation and smile alone practically melted my negativity leftover from the SUV woman.

In the next aisle, there was a woman whose cart was blocking my way. Rather than get annoyed with this aisle hogger, I simply smiled and said, “Excuse me.” As she turned  to me, I realized her hands were full with items from the shelf.  I told her, “Don’t worry. I will move your cart. It’s no problem at all.” She smiled and said, “Thank you so much.”

As I was checking out, I noticed the cashier looked like she wasn’t feeling well. She told me she had appendicitis. I found out she was waiting on her insurance company to approve the surgery and in the meantime she needed to work. She had a small baby at home and had to pay her bills. I told her I would load my cart and that I hoped she would feel better. As I walked away, she smiled and thanked me for caring.

A man in a checkout two down from me was struggling getting his money in his wallet and his bags organized in his cart. I could have whizzed past him but instead I chose to stop. I waved him in front of me and said, “Take your time.”  I smiled and waited. He smiled back and said, “Thank you for not rushing me.”

After I loaded the groceries into my car, I returned my cart to the cart corral.  As I approached my car on the way back, the woman next to me had just finished emptying her groceries. I took her cart and said, “I will return that for you.” She smiled and shook her head as if she was shocked I offered to do that. She smiled big and said a great big loud, “Thank You!”

As I sat down in my car, I felt great. Making a choice to impact others lives is very rewarding. Nothing I did was earth shattering. I don’t know if the people even remembered me after their shopping trip. It doesn’t matter though. What matters is that just for a moment, I noticed them and did something to make them smile. Sure, it may have taken a few minutes of my time but I made five people happy if even for a moment.

As I was sharing this story with Jeanie tonight, she pointed out to me that we go through a lot of our lives every day not being aware of the other people around us. We don’t take the time to see if strangers need help, are in pain or confused. We don’t see those moments.

So, I  challenge you all- tomorrow take a few minutes to be aware of your surroundings. Look for the moments that you normally overlook. Do something to make a stranger smile. If we each did this just a little bit more every day, I know we could make the world a brighter place.

 

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© Copyright 2014 kfredricks, All rights Reserved. Written For: What's Your Spective?℠