Do your little bit of good where you are

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 1, 2023

By Bonnie Brown

I am a people watcher.  I enjoy observing my fellow humans and admit that there’s some behavior I’d rather not see. However, the good outweighs the bad in most instances of my observations.  

I recently had a fairly quick shopping experience in Walmart. The store was not overly crowded, but busy as usual. I pulled out a shopping cart and was about to make my way to the main part of the store when this man stepped in front of me to secure a buggy from the row next to me. He then proceeded to pull it back and forth several times. I politely said “Excuse me” as I tried to proceed. He just stopped and said he had to try it out. I responded to please get out of my way.  He responded, “Now that was just rude.” I didn’t take the time with him to point out that he stepped in front of me and was prohibiting me from going on my way, which was rude. What’s the matter with people who think they have special privileges?  

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A few minutes later, I saw a young woman just ahead of me exiting the sporting goods area of the store.  She was wearing what appeared to me to be a plastic batting helmet.  Not what I’d expect a young woman to be styling.  Then, she turned down a main aisle and removed the plastic helmet and it fell to the floor.  She paraded off without so much as a backward glance.  

She had no buggy, and I was curious what that was all about.  But my thinking was that she felt she didn’t need to return the helmet to the sporting goods department and that someone else would have to pick it up.  Honestly!  I was tempted to follow her and ask her why she just dropped the helmet and continued through the store.  I lost sight of her and hoped that she wasn’t going from one department to the next doing the same kind of thing.  

I often see people who park their shopping cart in the middle of the aisle while they make their selection of whatever product they are looking for.  This is what I call a definite lack of “spatial awareness.”  Do they not notice that other shoppers are trying to politely navigate around them? 

I must, however, give credit to my fellow shoppers who acknowledge one another with a smile or greeting of “good morning” or “how you doing.”  Or the ones who come to my rescue when I’m attempting to get something off a high shelf.  Such kindness is greatly appreciated, and I always acknowledge them and say I’m their person if they need something off the low, bottom shelves.   

It’s official!  Nov. 13 is World Kindness Day. In our current world situation, a little kindness goes a long way. And that doesn’t just apply to when we’re grocery shopping. Kindness breeds kindness. And our world could use a huge dose of kindness right now.  The crime, the gun violence, wars abroad. All could be different if there were a little kindness.

This quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu certainly applies.  “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”  It is so true.  So go forth and spread kindness and it will return to you—even in the grocery store!