As I was about to walk into a grocery store, I saw an elderly lady, late 70s/early 80s, dressed warmly, sitting on chair and ringing a bell to collect money for the Salvation Army. She said “Merry Christmas” or “Hello” to various people as they came and went but many walked right past her, without even an acknowledgement. It’s one thing to choose not to donate, but it’s another to be downright rude.
So I walked right past her and gave her a big smile, saying “Hello.” She responded with, “Hello” and a tiny smile back.
As I grabbed a basket in the insanely packed grocery store (I’m not kidding, full shelves were empty,) I decided I was going to do this my entire trip. I was going to go out of my way to be nice to people.
I allowed people to plow ahead of me as they seemed in a rush. I smiled when a woman bumped into me. When someone apologized for walking right in front of me and making me nearly fall, I simply said, “No worries.”
And you know what? It felt good. Really good.
No matter what kind of day one has had, is it too much for a little common courtesy?
I think the universe rewarded me for my efforts also. I kid you not, twice I reached a shelf looking for something I wanted only to find it empty – slices of sharp cheddar and arugula lettuce. But then, when I glanced in the back or nearby, I found what I was needed. And there was only one of each, as though they were there just for me.
Positivity begets positivity. Try it. Let it swirl all around you this holiday season (and then maybe it will be commonplace for the whole year! that’s my goal…)
Oh, and when I excited, the sweet old lady was being ignored by yet another busy shopper. So I walked right by her, looked her in the eye and said, “Merry Christmas.” I must have surprised her because she said, “Oh! Merry Christmas to you” and then a big smile spread across her cold, chapped lips.
I smiled right back.