Treating people with kindness


By Pam Loxley-Drake

I walked out of the store in a bit of a daze. Daily we find uncaring people in a society that seems uncaring for the most part but not on this day. There was no doubt as to what I should do.

“I need to write this story,” I told myself. And so I did.

“May I help you?” How often do we hear these words when we enter a business. A happy face. A pleasant voice. A welcoming atmosphere brings you back again and again. We don’t always notice it because we are focused on a mission. Yet it does influence us and often our moods.

I must admit that I am a rather focused shopper. A casual ‘good morning’ and I’m off pushing my cart down the aisles. Most of us mechanically search and shop with our noses pinned to the price tags. We gauge the quickest check-out line and brainlessly empty our carts, return them to their assigned racks, then hop into our cars. Done. As easy as…..well, maybe not any more.

My gratitude to Bi-Mart for allowing me to share this story with you.

The Bi-Mart store in Aloha reminds me of the little stores back in Ohio. I pop into the store a couple times a week looking for plants, bird seed, something to munch on. Their staff is attentive and friendly. It feels like home.

Not often do I have need to return an item yet on this day I did. Waiting wasn’t a problem. I was in no hurry and next in line.

The clerks name was Margarita. She was waiting on a disabled gentleman. His hands shook and speaking was a struggle. Obviously, Margarita had helped this man before.

She held the device that played music through the earphones around his neck. A device in need of new batteries which she was replacing for him.

With shaking hands, he removed his wallet to pay for the batteries and a bottle of soda. Margarita showed him what bills he needed. He gave her the money then she handed him the change. He struggled to open his pocket and asked for help. Margarita obliged. She pulled out the edge of his pocket and dropped in the change.

Her movements and voice were of kindness and respect for this middle-aged man. I cannot take my eyes off the drama unfolding before me.

Next he asked if she would open his drink. She twisted off the cap and handed it to him. With shaking hands, he tried to take a sip spilling some down his chin. Embarrassed, he started to walk away, leaning on his walker. Margarita grabbed some tissue and rushed after him. Gently she wiped his chin. She constantly treated him with kindness and respect.

Seldom am I speechless. Seldom do I see such loving care given so freely to a stranger. A customer who asks for her each time he goes into the store.

How humble are we? Sure, I’ve opened car doors and trunks for those needing help or chased an errant cart, but what have I really done? What opportunities do I overlook focused only of myself? Why am I reluctant to step in when I see a need?

Right before my eyes, Margarita showed me true human kindness. This gentleman knew who to go to for help. He trusted her. She allowed him his dignity and cared with a truly loving heart.

“Thank you,” I said to her. “You were wonderful with him.”

Her response brought me to tears as I sat in my car.

“I would want someone to do the same if he were my child.”

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