“These are the times that try men’s souls” or so it seems. As we struggle to live with Covid and all that has changed about the way we live our lives, we tend to wonder, “Where have all the good times gone?” They are still with us. Even though I have identified a behavior that I call “Covid Cranky,” I can’t help but be heartened by another which is “Covid Kindness.” I experienced an example of that today.
It has been a completely miserable chilly, rainy and windy day here in normally sunny Savannah. As one who does not enjoy the obligatory trip to the grocery store under the best of circumstances, I particularly dislike it in bad weather. I might have survived without going out, but my two elderly cats let me know we were low on their favorite cat food. They rule so out I went.
Mercifully, it stopped raining just as I arrived at the store. I had my umbrella with me. Thank goodness. When I started to leave, the rain began to come down with a vengeance. I opened my pitifully small umbrella and with an overflowing cart made my way through the parking lot where the water was already puddling.
As I approached my car, a woman coming toward me smiled through the downpour and asked, “May I help you with that?” I need to point out that she had neither an umbrella nor a raincoat. I thanked her and said I would be fine. She was determined and refused to take no for an answer. Not only did she help me load the groceries into my car, but she also insisted on holding the tiny umbrella over my head.
When we finished, I tried to give her my umbrella assuring her that I had others at home. She would not hear of it. Thoroughly dampened, she set off through the pouring rain toward the store.
I have no idea who she was. I doubt I will ever see her again, but I will never forget her. The simple act of kindness from a perfect stranger made my day. The rain continues to fall, but nothing can dampen my spirits because of the humble act of a perfect stranger.
Will you be the kind stranger in someone’s life at the next opportunity? At a time when we are feeling more stress and anxiety in our daily lives, reaching out to another human being can make a world of difference in how we feel and how we make others feel.