celebrate kindness

Random Act of Kindness – Clean Up on Aisle 9

Posted on: July 3, 2014

Have you ever had one of those days where you just wanted to accomplish one quick task, but discovered you would have had greater success moving mountains?  Welcome to my world.

Today started out simple enough… my goals were to unpack my suitcase, play with my kids who have not seen me for the past 5 days, take a shower, and blog about my ISTE Ignite presentation (not necessarily in that order).  It’s now late afternoon and I’m realizing I’ve only accomplished one of the four line items above.  Can you guess which one?

I am a mom.  Yes, I’m a self-proclaimed tech geek as well, but at the end of the day, I am a mom.  I make messes with my kids then work together to help them clean up.  At any given time you walk in my home, you may see half-completed puzzles, colorful art projects, forts, or intricate wooden train tracks leading from one room to the other.  Needless to say, I don’t do much adult entertaining in my home, lol.

Today my daughter, who owns her own business, was finishing up an order for homemade truffles, but needed a container to transfer the delicacies to our neighbor across the street.  “No worries – I’ll be right back!” I spoke over my shoulder as I left the house to drive to our local Kroger grocery store.

I had one task.  Purchase an aluminum tray with lid.  Sounds pretty simple, right?  Yeah… right…

As you enter Kroger, the brightly colored fruit selections were impossible to avoid.  Cut-up chunks of sweet watermelon on sale? Oh, yes! Cubes of tangy pineapple at the lowest price of the season? Absolutely! Even the cantaloupe was calling my name, its brilliant shade of coral shimmering under the produce lights.  Everyone needs fruit, right?

My hand-held basket was filled before I even found the foil trays.  If you’ve read my previous posts, then you already know my passion for grocery shopping.  For me, this was bliss!  I quickly found the trays I needed, made my way to the self-checkout, and started scanning items.  As soon as I picked up the foil trays, my basket tipped off the metal stand and instantly my fruit containers were on the floor, their lids scattered among the kaleidoscopic colors of red, orange, and yellow.

I had only one task to complete.  And I failed miserably.

I stood there in complete shock, staring at the mess on the floor and all I could do was laugh at the absurdity of it all.  Really? REALLY?  I. Just. Needed. A. Foil. Tray!

In less than two minutes, the mess was cleaned up by the expedient and courteous staff at Kroger.  “Happens all the time.  Don’t worry about it,” said the man with the mop.  “Can I get you another container of fruit?” asked the self-checkout cashier.  I was overwhelmed by their kindness which more than made up for my embarrassment.  In fact, it all happened so fast, I totally forgot to take a photo of the mess, but I was able to capture the residue left by the mop before it dried:

Photo Jul 03, 2 44 08 PM

As I left Kroger and headed back to my car, I saw a gentleman parked near me with the hood of his truck lifted up.  This man had been working on his truck when I arrived and it seemed he wasn’t having much luck getting his truck restarted.  I smiled with sympathy as I walked by, but really what help was I?  I know nothing about fixing cars and could offer no assistance.  Or could I?

Photo Jul 03, 2 45 33 PM

I quickly dumped my bags into my car and returned to the grocery store.  This time I knew I would stay on task with the one item I wanted to buy:

Photo Jul 03, 3 02 26 PM

I passed by the gentleman working on his car yet again, but this time I stopped and handed him an ice cold water.  “Sir?  I can’t help you fix your car, but it’s mighty hot out here, so I thought a bottle of water might help you while you work.”  His smile was worth all the spilled fruit in the world.  It felt so good to pay it forward!

My RAK lessons today:

  • Buying a water for someone working outside on a really hot day is awesome.
  • My local Kroger store is amazing.
  • When someone does something nice for you, it’s always best to show your appreciation and pay it forward.  🙂

Best of all… I remembered the foil trays.  My daughter’s truffles looked fabulous as she carried them across the street and I had a happy heart for all we accomplished (and didn’t accomplish) today.

Photo Jul 03, 2 58 31 PM

Those blog posts might have to wait until another day… which is just fine by me.  I have another 100 piece puzzle to put together tonight with my four year old.  As you go about your celebrations this weekend, be sure to celebrate the kindness you see in others.  We are so blessed  to live in this wonderful country, surrounded by such caring people.  🙂

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The cards I made as random acts of kindness to bless others through iServe #iservecsbc #rak
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