December 5, 2007

Passing the Cheer in Random Little Ways

I needed to run to the bank yesterday.

Now, I certainly cannot speak for everyone on this, but it doesn't quite feel like 'the holidays' until you've had to stand in line at the bank at ten minutes to five with three kids in tow, 20 people in front of you and three tellers' windows actually open. If it weren't for the soothing Christmas music and the lights (and the fact that the line still moved pretty quickly!) I might have pulled my hair out. Surprisingly, this was not one of my most stressful trips to the bank!

I finished my transaction and my kids and I headed back to the car. The parking spot to the right of my car is empty. As we're getting in and all buckled and everything, a large truck pulls into the spot. The woman is on her cell phone and opens the door of her truck rather right away. By this point, we were all buckled in and I had started the engine. Given the location and time of day, I was already dreading the amount of concentration it was going to take to back my gas hog out of this space. The woman sat in her truck and talked on her cell phone while her door continued to stay open. It was open so wide that I would not be able to back out without at least our mirrors knocking into one another. And she didn't even seem to notice me.

I sat and grumbled to myself. "If this lady doesn't make up her mind or close her door, we can't back out." My doors were all closed and my windows were up. I wasn't even looking in her direction at all, so there was no way for her to see that I was talking about her. On the wrong day, I might have tried to get her attention by staring her down so she knew what an inconvenience she was causing. Not yesterday.

Within a few seconds of my comment, she got out of her truck. Whew! She then walked straight back to a car that that was pulling up behind me. I thought that maybe that was who she had been talking to on the phone and was worried that she would try to continue her conversation while that car blocked me in. After a brief interaction with that car, it drove out of the parking lot. She then walked to the other side of the back of my car and proceded to direct traffic so that I could back out. I was beginning to think that was what she might be doing, but did not know for sure until she knocked on my back window and motioned that it was safe for me to back out.


At that moment, peace was restored. The little inconvenience I might have suffered because of her paled in comparison to the way she helped me get out of that awful parking lot. Just as soon as I had backed out safely, she was inside the bank. I didn't even get the chance to thank her for the help, but that probably isn't the reason she did it to begin with.

You know, I watch the news and even walk through the dreaded mall and I get very discouraged by what I see. It's easy to get discouraged in people this time of year. Everyone has their own agenda and, therefore, everyone else is just in their way. I've felt that way myself. On the wrong day, I am one of the people that irk me.

This woman may not know it, but she restored my faith in the human race, if even just a little. She also has me wondering what random way I can help someone else out to make their day a little better.

If you ever go to Starbucks, you'll know just what I'm talking about when I say,

"Pass the Cheer!"


SJSFalter+ said...

Through the beginning of this post I was seriously thinking the worst but was happily surprised to hear the outcome. I would have been in shock and not have realized I should be thanking her until I was home and thinking through the events. I can only hope that I too can "pass on the cheer" to someone, somehow.

Lynne said...

What a great post! I love it when something so stressful can turn around and be something so wonderful. A small act of kindness can do wonders. :-D