Spread This, Not That…

By Rhonda Morales

Although most of us are practicing social distancing, we do occasionally need to venture out to run essential errands. Today, I made a drive-through deposit at the bank (used a Clorox wipe to clutch the canister and touch the button to send it whizzing through the tube) and then to Safeway for fresh produce and distilled water. I could sense the tension of exhausted clerks and grocery stockers as well as nervous patrons. I thought, SOMETHING must break this tension…

Then, it HIT ME! Let’s commit Random Acts of Kindness any time we must be out! I noticed an older man in his 70’s behind me at the self-check and invited him to go in front of me. I smiled and said, “Why don’t you go in before me…you have fewer groceries than I do!” He looked a little suspicious, shrugged and walked up to start his check out.

I got home and read an account on Facebook of an exhausted female EMT who has been in extra meetings about Corona protocol and working long shifts. She was exhausted and as she stopped in her local grocery store, witnessed people’s rudeness and some greediness and it greatly bothered her.

She also noticed an elderly man she estimated to be in his 90’s. In his hand basket were a loaf of bread, cheese, lunchmeat and soup. He shuffled up to the checkout and smiled at the clerk as he shyly said, “Doesn’t look like you have much soup left…” The Paramedic looked in his basked to see one small can of soup…probably all he was able to find on the near-empty shelves. She realized that at his age, walking into a grocery store was taking his life into his hands – and that he was no doubt on a fixed income. Although she could not assist with the soup shortage, she offered to pay for his groceries. He at first declined, but quickly reversed course and accepted. Not only the clerk, but also bystanders were touched (and hopefully inspired) at the paramedic’s Random Act of Kindness and the man’s teary and humble acceptance.

I have also seen countless Millennial’s in the low-risk age group offer on social media to run errands, and to do shopping for people in higher risk groups and offering to drop the shopping on the porch.

Join us in spreading the trend by committing Random Acts of kindness any time you’re able! Here are some suggestions, and I’m sure you’ll have other ideas to add to this list:

  • Buy for the person behind you at the drive-through line
  • Check in with an elderly neighbor, friend, relative or church member either via FaceTime or a good old-fashioned phone call
  • Give up a good parking spot
  • Hold the door for someone
  • Wipe door handles, the pin pad at the gas station or store etc. with a Clorox wipe for those coming after you
  • Be extra gracious and polite during this tense and uncertain time

Random Acts of Kindness remind us that we are stronger together and together we can overcome any challenge, even this one.

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