Friday, September 2, 2011

What is....

...the best most unusual thing that has ever happened to you?

My BEST most unusual:

It was a Tuesday morning and the day had started out a little off. I was already stressed about tons of things, both professional and personal. This particular Tuesday I had to stop by the grocery store on my way to work because it was my turn to bring 'Tuesday Treats'; lucky me!! I could have gone to
the doughnut shop and picked up a couple dozen, but I am just not a fan of the sugary stuff, so I decided I would get yogurt and fresh fruit. If I have to buy it, then I get to choose what it is!

I walk into the store and head to the produce section when I encounter an employee of the store. He appears to be in his late 30s and has Downs. He asks me if I need help finding anything.

"No, but thank you, I know where I am headed." I say to him with a smile.

"You look sad. Are you sad?" He asks.

"No, not really, just having one of those days." I reply.

With that, he drops to one knee and proceeds to sing an Elvis song. He has a good voice and has all the stage presence he needs to pull off a maneuver like this.

As he is singing I can see that the checkers have stopped checking, the baggers have stopped bagging, the stockers have stopped stocking, and the shoppers have stopped shopping. He is the absolute center of attention. It is amazing to me that not one single person is looking at him with irritation or confusion. Everyone's face is calm, with a slight smile.

As he finishs his rendition of Elvis and is rising from his kneeling position, applause begins. Everyone is applauding his performance, including me. Everyone in the store has stopped what they were doing, interupted their lives for just a few moments to express kindness to another human being.

That was when I stresses and troubles mean nothing in the big scheme of things. If asked today exactly what it was that I was stressed about, I would not be able to tell you. So, if I can't remember what they were, why were they so important then? Fact is...they weren't.

What is important is life and how we live it. Random acts of kindness and how many we perform on a routine basis. That is what is important.

Matt saw in my face that I was troubled. He noticed my mood. I was a stranger to him. Just a patron of the grocery store where he works. He could have easily just let me walk on by. But instead he offered a helping hand, and when I declined his help, he offered to make my day better the only way he sing me a song.

I stop by that store every now and then when I need reminding of just how easy it is to brighten someone else's day without it costing me anymore than a few moments of my time. And, I am not going to even start on how taking those few moments to brighten someone elses day brightens your own life so much.

Matt taught me a very important lesson in the length of an Elvis song. The best gift you can give is the gift of your time and attention. Monitary items mean nothing and they all eventually end up in a landfill anyway. Keep important what is you spend your time.

I ask you this question because I find the variety of answers to this question to be fascinating. Please comment to this post with your answer to the question. Also, if you are willing to allow me to utilize your answer as the skeleton for a story, please give me permission in your comment.

Thanks for reading!

Brooke Ryter

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