Every day, we have moments where we get to choose. Usually, they are small things, like what to make for dinner or which route to take to the grocery store. They don’t upend anyone’s life, they won’t change the world, and they won’t stop anyone from sleeping at night. But then there are moments like these, where one choice can make a world of difference, even if we didn’t think it would have any sway at all.
“So, I walked into a Walmart today to find some Greek yogurt, the honey variety and I stopped at the deli. A lady was waiting there. She looked to be an impoverished little elderly woman, who said she had been waiting for 45 minutes and no one would wait on her.
When they finally did, she asked the price of an egg roll and the fried wontons. It was evident she didn’t have much. Finally, in frustration, she said, “Forget it;’ and started to leave. That just felt so wrong.
I called out, “Stop, stop, you can’t leave, come back here. Pick your dinner out. I’ll buy it.” It came to a mere $9.50 or so. The thought of someone walking home hungry, feeling broke and mistreated just felt so wrong. I told her that I had just sold a book and the meal was no big deal. She asked about the book and I told her about my friend, John’s cancer and how it was important to get it done to honor what a gift he is to me and how much I love him. She said that her husband had cancer. We walked out and I grabbed her a copy of the book and signed it for her. She said she had a book she was working on. She hugged me with tears in her eyes and said, “I love you.”
For a mere $9.50 I got an “I love you,” from a stranger.
Best $9.50 I have spent in a long time.”
She didn’t have to stop. She didn’t have to care. A woman was waiting at the counter – what business was it of hers? But she made it her business, and in the process, made someone else’s life just a little bit easier. And really, what was $10 compared to the hope that one day, life would get better for the little old woman? Not much, really. Not much at all.
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