KINDNESS, It’s Contagious

Kindness is not only contagious, it matters, and it makes a difference.

I had a different story prepared to tell you however after waking up to the news of another American horror story of one more senseless act of violence, my other story seemed trite and meaningless. I will save it for a slow news day.

Watching the news and hearing the stories of the Las Vegas concert goers, those that survived, I felt the pain for the friends and families of the victims. Although we have been here before this time it seemed worse as the number of victims was so much greater. I was touched by one man who told the story of his friend who had been shot at the concert. He decided not to wait any longer for an ambulance. He put his friend in the back of his pick-up truck along with two other injured people and headed to a hospital. They saw an ambulance on the way and got professional medical help immediately. One of the victims died while receiving medical attention. The man helping out didn’t know the victim, but wanted his family and friends to know that their son, brother, nephew, friend didn’t die alone. Someone was with him from the time he was shot until he passed.

Getting on with my day I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up some groceries. The checker helping me was a young man, I would guess between 25 and 30 years old. He asked how my day was going. Normally I would say just fine and return the question. Today I chose to be honest and say “upset by what happened in Las Vegas.” He asked me to sign the credit card receipt and said he would be right back. He came back with a bouquet of flowers and handed it to me, and said “I hope this makes you feel better.” I looked at him, smiled and put my sun glasses on so he wouldn’t see the tears in my eyes. I went to my car and remembered I had a gift card for a free frozen yogurt from a yogurt shop in the same complex as the Trader Joe’s. I grabbed it and went back to the store and gave it to the young man and said thank you. He smiled and seemed embarrassed, and went back to his next customer.

The shooter’s brother said his brother was unremarkable. He lived a quiet, normal life and was just a “guy”. The first responders and the guy with the pick-up truck in Las Vegas and the checker at Trader Joe’s were likely just guys too, sensitive guys being kind. I find them remarkable.

I passed on the kindness in a small way, honoring the man in Las Vegas with this story and giving the gift card to the checker at Trader Joe’s.

One kind act at a time, it helps, it makes a difference, and it is contagious.

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