Can we try a little kindness, please? (updated*)Posted: March 22, 2012
OK, peeps, we can do better than this. This goes out to all the shopkeepers out there.
In this economy, do you want my business? Because, honestly, I am a kind person and I empathize with all sorts of people, but I don’t understand snooty preoccupied or can’t-be-bothered shopkeepers.
Sunny day, gorgeous day. I’m out walking, shopping bag slung over my shoulder. Granted, I’m wearing t-shirt and jeans, but you know, I have money to spend on those I love, and also I love supporting my local merchants. Some know me by name and I’ve only lived here several months.
I’m looking for a wedding present. I go into a local upscale housewear-type shoppe. The door is open, the air is fresh, I’m feeling fine and happy. I love walking, and I like shopping too, though I am a careful shopper.
I walk in, spot all sorts of things that are sweet, cool, fine. The shopkeeper says hello, then answers a phone call. I wait. I am patient. I look around, find things I am interested in. The shopkeeper –the owner, I would guess –talks to a friend, or maybe her sister. She forgets I am there. I wait at the counter. She talks. I walk around some more, am interested in several things. I wait. I stand. Finally I leave, kindly saying good-bye, wondering if I didn’t look important enough or monied enough, or maybe her chat was more important than my business or her business?
Now, for contrast:
Where I live, there are a lot of beggars. On my jaunts I often encounter, “Lady can you spare a
dime five dollars?” Many people have told me to ignore “panhandlers”, but I usually keep a few one-dollar bills in my pocket and often I hand them over, if the situation seems safe. Am I supporting someone’s drug habit, or giving them a meal? I dunno.
Anyway, I was walking home, in a hurry, and a familiar –entrepreneur–approached me. I say entrepreneur because this guy sells stuff. I’ve always had a soft spot for him because he doesn’t beg, he sells his wares. You know, he’s got pride. I see him often, pass him by often, because his stuff is not cheap and I just don’t carry much cash nor do I need to buy things all of the time. But I am familiar to him just as he is familiar to me.
Years ago, when my kids were little, we were at an outdoor concert and The Entrepreneur approached us. Everyone around us seemed to be ignoring him. My kids were a bit apprehensive. “Mo-om!” But I bought a necklace, and he was elated. So grateful, so polite, so happy.
I doubled the necklace and wore it as a bracelet. The black cord is a bit faded now, but it is beautiful, a raw gemstone. I called it then, and refer to it now as, my “kindness bracelet”. So, imagine my surprise when I moved to a new place and now run into The Entrepreneur on a regular basis.
This evening, I have somewhere I have to be. I am hurrying by, and I am with someone else. The Entrepreneur approaches me. I say, “I know, I have to buy something from you one of these days, but not now. I don’t have cash and I have to go…”
“Do you like this?” he asks.
Wow. Yes, I do. I like the bracelet he shows me.
“You got five bucks?” he asks me.
“Well I can’t stop now. But I will, I …”
“It’s yours” he says. “Take it. I want you to have it.”
I am hurrying by, I can’t shop right now, I…
“Here.” He gives it to me.
I thank him. He knows I will get back to him. He knows.
So I am wearing this beautiful, delicate bracelet that he made. It’s black with three oblong white beads etched in black. I love it. It’s not too big or too much for my skinny little wrist, and I wear a lot of black especially as an accent colour, so it is perfect, in its unassuming artsy little way.
What is the moral of this story? Don’t know, really, but… be kind, be open to people, accept gifts. Live happily!
Enjoy your walks in this beautiful world. Enjoy the spring, and walk with a spring in your lovely step.
*For More, taste this post from DM (who contributes in Comments, below). It is truly delicious and will make you smile!