By: Teresa B. Duffy

A note about today, as the inauguration of our 45th President is underway….I just witnessed the very thing that will keep America great over the next four years: human awareness and unpaid kindness.

While grocery shopping I passed another shopper who was twice my age. He has undoubtedly experienced more turmoil and celebrations than me or the other people he slowly strolled behind. He wore dignity like an expensive suit, but was kept warm by an old jacket and wore a weathered cap that said Vietnam Vet. He said to a store clerk that he lost his cane. And, it was evident he was trying to continue his outing without that support. Because of human awareness and unpaid kindness, he got his cane back. It was a struggle for him to put all his groceries into the cart, but he did so in his own time. He would have walked out without his extra clothe shopping bags, but human awareness jumped in and followed him out the door shouting “Sir, are these your bags?” And they were, and he was glad someone found something he didn’t know he was missing. He smiled and thanked the random shopper. Then, as he loaded his few bags into his car, in the rain, he turned to return his cart but got stuck in the middle of the slight incline in the parking lot. Then, because of human awareness and unpaid kindness another offer of simple help enable him to get out of the rain quicker while someone took two carts back to the store. He seemed upset that there was no quarter coming back to him, from his returned cart, so the person gave him a quarter from her pocket. He looked up and said, “Wow, that was more than I expected. You took my cart and gave me a free quarter.” So, let us be kind in our neighborhoods’ in our grocery stores and in our parks and in our school parking lots and in our town meetings and above all, around our dinner tables. Let us be more aware of who is in our path, while never expecting anything in return but offering dignity and seeing that all people are worth human awareness and unpaid keep kindness. This country is great because of the people in it. 

| photo credit 3dman_eu via Pixabay |