I just watched a video on Facebook that showed a series of clips where people would stop and help another person who obviously needed help, such as a person who had fallen or was having problems crossing a busy street. Several, ok, most people just went around them. In each of the clips there was at least one, if not two or more, people who stopped to help the person. I love seeing things like this because that is what all of us should be doing–helping each other out! See a need and fill it! I will even go further and say that, at the very least, we should acknowledge one another’s existence and treat one another with respect. You never know how much good doing that simple thing can help another.
The other night I had to go to the grocery store pharmacy to pick up a prescription. As I walked up to the pharmacy, I realized there was a queue and looked to see where the end was. I passed two women with a cart holding 3 little cute girls. It was pretty apparent that one woman was the mother of the little girls and the other was the grandmother. As I walked on past, I noticed an older man sitting on a bench, waiting for a prescription as well. He was the last in line. I stood there a moment and said hi and asked how he was doing. He said, “I’m doing just fine! See those little girls over there?” pointing to the basket. “Those are my great-granddaughters, or is it great-great-granddaughters? Hmm, anyway they’re my grandchildren!” he said with obvious great pride. I replied, “They’re beautiful, every one of them! I know you must love them! I just became a grandmother for the first time and I love my little grandson so much it hurts!” He said, “Guess how old I am! I’m 86 years old and I have nine children. Guess how many grandchildren I have!” I was amazed that he had nine children, but wasn’t going to guess on grandchildren numbers and said, “I have no idea.” “I have 61 grandchildren, that includes the greats and great greats and I’m hanging on until I at least have 62 grandchildren!” We both laughed at that and then the pharmacist called for the next person. Since his prescription wasn’t ready, I went up to the counter and collected my prescription.
As I turned around and was about to walk away, the old man said, “Have a good evening!” For some reason I just wanted to hug him. He had the look of someone who needed a hug. No, I didn’t hug him, tempted though I was! I did stop, though, and put out my hand and he took it. I told him, “I just want you to know it has been a real pleasure to meet you! You’re obviously a very good father and grandfather who is proud of his family and rightly so. You’ve done a great job with your family. I hope you have a good evening too!” He beamed with a smile so bright it could have lit up the whole store.
I started on down the aisle and was at the front when I heard someone say, “Miss! Miss! Wait!” I turned around and the old man’s daughter was headed my way. My first thought was, “Uh-oh, she didn’t like me talking to her dad!” (Why do I always think myself in trouble, first thing?) She said, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for talking to my dad and for what you said as you were leaving. It was the exact right thing! How did you know?” I said, “I don’t know what you mean.” She said, through tears in her eyes, “We’ve been so worried about him. He has been so blue lately and thinks he has no purpose. When you talked to him about our family and said he was obviously a good father and grandfather, he cried after you left. He said, ‘Well, I guess I am worth something after all! I need to stick around to watch over you guys, don’t I?’ We’ve been telling him that, but he didn’t believe it. He thought he was just a burden. When you told him almost the exact same thing in the exact same words, it finally got through to him! So, thank you for doing that!” Then she hugged me.
So, am I saying I’m all that and a bag of chips too? No! I’m not at all! Quite the opposite actually because I know how many times I’ve been in a hurry and passed people without even looking at them, much less talk to them. There have been times, however, like that night, when I felt a nudge to engage with a particular person. I never know why, but I have learned to go with the nudge. Very often, after obeying the nudge, I come away feeling so blessed by the encounter and realize most of the time why I was led to that person. It’s usually a sad or desperate look in their eyes, as though they just want to be acknowledged and maybe even loved on a little bit. I can’t tell you how many little old ladies I’ve hugged over the years. I’ve just come to expect it if I’m out and about.
My point is not to pat myself on the back. My point is that we should all be paying more attention to the real people right beside us or that we run across throughout our day. Every so often, all of us need someone to acknowledge us, to treat us with some respect and love. We’ve all been blue, been sick, or grieved, feeling alone in the world. Wouldn’t it be nice if during those times, someone saw us and spoke with us? Doesn’t it help to share a hug or a pat on the back sometimes, even with a stranger? I know a lot of people worry that the person might take offense or get mad if we speak to them or anything, but do you know, I’ve talked to or hugged at least hundreds of people through my life and not ONE of them has been hateful or offensive back? As a matter of fact, most of them have cried or laughed or said something grateful in nature. Even the big, mean looking guys who look like they could eat me for lunch and spit out the bones have been grateful! Actually, they’re usually the ones who need a friendly face more than anyone else. We all need real, live human contact and interaction. We all need love. Share some love today with someone! You might be pleasantly surprised by the response. We might actually start a revolution of love and wouldn’t that be awesome?!
Peace and love, always,
“I give you a new command. Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you.”
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