Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You Would do the Same Thing for Me, Right?

Yesterday, I was running an errand and made a quick stop in an office supply store to buy some ink cartridges for our printer.  As I was paying, I struck up a conversation with the cashier - a young man in his late 20's.  I asked him how his day was going. He smiled and said it was going okay even though he was working from 8:00 - 10:00.  "You mean from 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.?"  I asked.  
He said, "Yes."
He was working a double shift to cover for a coworker whose dad was having surgery that day - a very serious surgery.  He went on to say that the man was having his jaw removed due to the spread of cancer in his body.  "How incredibly sad," I said.  "So, you're working a double shift so your coworker can be with his dad today?"
"That's right," he said. "But you would do the same thing for a friend, wouldn't you?"
I agreed that I would.
I went on to say to him, "You know that every time you extend a kindness in life it makes a difference.  What you are doing today for your friend is a very generous act and it's making a difference to him and his family.  You'll always be glad that you did this today."
He then paused, looked at me and said, "You would do the same thing for me, right?"
I replied, "Absolutely."
We smiled and I left the store with my purchases.
As I walked to my car I contemplated his final question.  Would I do the same thing for him?  I didn't even know him.  But the more I thought about it, I concluded that I probably would try.  If the circumstances were such that I was asked by a stranger to do a good deed and it was within my power to extend that deed, I would do my level best to follow through, at least I hope so.  His challenging question has hung with me.


  1. Knowing the author of this blog, I am aware that she is one of the best communicators of kindness in my frame of reference. I sometimes call her a great "interviewer" which simply means that she consistently expresses an interest, a genuine one, in everything and everyone around her. That's a great attribute and one I've learned a lot about from watching her do it.

  2. Thank you for such a kind, affirming comment.

  3. Life offers so many opportunities for us to help each other. And it enriches all of us when we are able to help. Thanks for sharing a story that lets us remember that! Love, M

  4. The opportunities are there. The need is not always obvious, so it's nice when people feel comfortable enough to ask for the help they need. Aid is usually not too far behind.