Passing along a kind word – or just passing?

A couple of weeks ago, we ran into Publix early in the morning for just a few things. We had a great parking spot right up front and center. As luck would have it, our battery refused to start when we came out. I know, I know – our battery didn’t really care how many things we were there to get, but on quick trips or stops, it just doesn’t seem right for our cars to give us a little trouble.

Anyway…we immediately reached out to roadside assistance, and they were wonderful. And then the wait began. While we waited, the spot in front of us opened up, so we decided to lift the hood of the car. We hoped that if anyone wanted to pull in, they would see we were waiting for assistance and leave that spot open for the help that was coming. It was really early, and we were not keeping folks from the only prime spot. (At that hour, there were lots of spots!)

After a few minutes, a guy pulled into the spot right next to us and without hesitation came right over. In the kindest and most sincere way, he asked if there was anything he could do to help us out. We let him know that help was on the way. When he came out after his short trip in, he asked again. Shortly after that, a woman pulled up with some little girls. When she got out of her car, she made the joke that ‘this was not a good way to start the day.’ She was very sweet and so were her little girls – they made sure to say hi to us, too.

We sat there for just under an hour. Quite a few folks spotted us, but walked right by – oddly, three of them were actually Publix employees and they never even acknowledged us! (How is it that none of the Publix employees that were walking by didn’t at least ask if we had help on the way?) However, four sweet shoppers went out of their way see if they could help us out. Those are the folks I remember very clearly. (If I had to, I bet I could even remember what they were wearing.) They stopped to take that minute from their busy schedules and check in with us as they saw our trouble. In my mind, their kindness still sticks with me…even today.

When we seize the moment to offer a kind word, or even make a funny remark, others appreciate it and it stays with them. Sometimes, we don’t have to chase down an opportunity to shine a little goodness on someone – the opportunity just presents itself. 

I think it’s important to remember that, in a tough moment for someone else – whether we know them or not – an offer to help out or even a kind word might stay with them, and you might not even realize it, but the goodness resonates.

How ‘bout today we keep our eyes open? If an opportunity crosses our path, let’s not let it pass. It could seem like nothing to you, but it could be a moment that sticks with those you come across for a while, or even makes their day.

How about instead of passing on an opportunity, we pass a kind word or just a smile? Let’s keep the goodness flowing!

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