At a coffee shop last week, an elderly woman behind me in line overheard my friend and I fighting over the bill. She interjected and said we could pay for her coffee instead of bickering. My friend, who happens to be one of the most generous people I know, offered to pay without any hesitation but she said she was just joking. The encounter was amusing, but it reminded me of an incident that happened many years ago that I have never forgotten. Something that wasn’t funny at all, and makes me feel ashamed of who I used to be.
It was many years ago and my husband and I had just moved to a brand new community. There weren’t too many options for groceries at that time so we often shopped in the neighbouring town. During one shopping trip, after I paid and was loading a mountain of groceries into the shopping cart, a man and his young daughter were checking out with a small number of items. When he went to pay, the cashier told him that his bank card was declined. The man reacted faster than anyone else by grabbing his daughter by the hand and said, “Let’s go,” as they fled the store. Her face and words are still permanently etched in my mind: “What’s wrong, Daddy?” I was completely frozen from shock.
The person that I am today would never have allowed that father and daughter to leave the store without their dinner. I’ve learned from observing the kindness of others that there are so many small and simple ways to make someone’s day. There is always someone who has less than you do.
As Thanksgiving approaches, it is a good time to remind myself how fortunate I am to have my health, a wonderful family and great friends. This year, I am especially grateful that someone special to me is on the mend after suddenly becoming ill. These are all the things that make this cheapo a very rich person, and I am very thankful for what I have.