This I Believe

Callie - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 15, 2007

This I believe that kindness is the dirt that fills in the potholes on the road of life. I realized this a few months ago, when I was getting necessities at a local Bashas grocery store. Let me tell you, it had just been one of those days where you wish you had never gotten out of bed. I had baggy pants on, a t-shirt, and my hair was soaked from a cold morning shower. I was exhausted from staying up all night taking care of my mom who had three bulging disks in her spine along with a number of other back problems. In other words, I looked like crap, I felt like crap, and nothing was working out for me that day. Consequently, when I went to pay, I discovered that my debit card was not working. To put a cherry on top, I not only look like an idiot because it kept on bleeping “rejected”, but also because there was a long line of impatient customers beginning to form behind me. Mortified, I left all my groceries at the check out and sprinted to my car praying to find a miracle cash oasis underneath the seat. Unfortunately, to my disappointment all I found were a few wrappers and a late homework assignment.

Embarrassed as could be, I forced myself to walk all the way back into the store in order to inform the cashier that I needed to put all my items back. As I grudgingly ambled over to the check out stand, an old man was paying for his groceries. At this point, all I could thing about was that I had to stand there like an idiot while I waited for this old goat to leisurely finish paying. Simply put, I was having my own little pity-party. With a scowl on my face I waited as he finished paying for his items and unbeknownst to me, began paying for mine. Engrossed with the details of my pity-party, I didn’t even notice what he was doing until after a few minutes. When I went to notify him that he had accidentally grabbed my groceries instead of his, he just smiled. Immediately, it hit me what he was doing, and a lump started to form in the back of my throat. When I tried to speak, nothing came out. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I hate to cry, especially in public. However, in this situation, after only a few seconds of fighting back tears, I lost the battle. So, right there in the middle of the Bashes grocery store, I start to bawl…and not just some light, pretty tears like you see in the movies, but these pathetic, manly sobs. Then, it got worse. I found I could not stop. Every time I tried to get a hold of myself, the tears would flow uncontrollably as if they were put on a continuous cycle that never ceased. As he walked away, he smiled and simply said, “Have a nice day.” I couldn’t even get a thank you in between my hysterical gasps. I just sat there in the middle of Bashes like a blubbering idiot who just had a better day handed to them on a plate. From that point on, my eyes were opened to other people needing a kind boost in their day. This I believe that one small kind deed can impact a crater in a persons heart.