Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! Last weekend, while out running errands and picking up some gifts, I really noticed that the holiday shopping season is here. More cars were in the parking lots, and some people seemed aggravated by the navigation challenges.
In the grocery store, after taking all the items out of my cart and putting them on the conveyor belt, I noticed that a young woman and her boyfriend were in front of me trying to figure out if their desired purchases fit into the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program that provides healthy food to households that meet certain income guidelines.
This was a complicated process. The cashier, a man over 40, kept referring to the mother’s documents from WIC and comparing them to her food items. I was a captive audience since it would have been a big deal for me to gather up all my items, put them back in the cart, and find another line. I took a deep breath and watched the scene playing out in front of me.
The mother’s boyfriend apologized for it taking so long, and I just smiled and told him it was ok. The person I found most interesting was the cashier. He sent one of the bagging clerks back to the refrigerated food area to get the right jugs of milk for the WIC program. He shared his pen with the mother so she could mark off her purchases on the WIC documents. He explained some of the program requirements to the mother, who didn’t seem to understand it all.
Then it was finally my turn to check out. I acknowledged the cashier and told him that he had been really patient, even though it might not have been easy to do so. He just smiled, shrugged, and said that the WIC program seemed to change all the time so he had to help the beneficiaries use it properly. I enjoyed seeing the cashier brighten up a bit when I caught him being so helpful. The bagging clerk noticed our conversation, and he smiled at me and complimented me for choosing a food item that he really enjoyed.
This was just a small moment, but I walked out of the store feeling as if it meant more. By being present, I connected in a positive way with three individuals who could have been frustrated and angry by the situation. I felt calm and pleased that I had taken time to notice what was happening and to share my appreciation for it.
I invite you to find a way to be present in the holiday rush and create some moments of peace that can benefit you and others around you.
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Enjoy a mindful week! I look forward to bringing you more thoughts and resources about mindfulness in my next post.