This afternoon, I was in the Coop getting some items for dinner tonight. I was standing at the cash register looking at two very young faces. In the background, I heard Just what I Needed, by The Cars and it made me smile.
I turned to the cashier and the young man bagging my groceries and asked, “Do you know who is singing this song?”
Hearing no response, I shared the story of my high school friend, Andy de la Rocha, who came to pick me up one summer night and this song was playing so loud I think my parent’s windows were shaking. My father shook his head to say NO! but it was too late, I was out the front door and into his car. He drove a huge white van as he had a ‘few’ brothers and sisters. The windows were open on a warm summer night and off I went. We were good friends.
Back to the Coop I see two blank faces and then an epiphany. The young girl says, “I think I have heard this before. My parents listen to this type of music.”
Ouch. But at least she was trying. The young man was still listening intently trying to determine if a.) he knew the song and/or b.) if he even liked the song.
Then off to the post office to get stamps. Yes, some of us old timers do actually need to send a card now and then and we prefer snail mail over an email greeting card. I struck up a conversation with a gentleman waiting for stamps and showed him how to use the machine to buy stamps and shortcut the line that was almost out the door. Technology wins this round and I met a nice person as well.
So try it. Try talking to or helping someone out. Chip and the kids are always asking me. “Do you know that person?” Nope, just making conversation.
Now don’t get me wrong. Not everyone is open for a dose of Karen. I have gotten my share of no responses or dirty looks. It’s OK, I get it. Some days when I am feeling a little down myself, I understand not being in a receptive mood. Still, don’t let that stop you.
Reach out to your fellow gym member and help them set up their spin bike for the first time and be sure to high five them when the class is over. Ask the person in the wheelchair cart if they need help reaching an item on the top shelf in the super market.
Maybe, just maybe if we all did this and tried to smile just a bit more, things may feel slightly better than they really are. We all have our struggles, some more than others and some you don’t even know are struggling. Be kind. It feels good.