I witnessed something truly remarkable one morning recently. One of those acts that typically goes unnoticed and unappreciated-it moved me so deeply that I wanted to share it with all of you.
It was cold this morning-below 20 degrees outside-and I was picking up a couple of items at Alper's on Main Street. A young man came into the store entrance and asked the first customer he saw if he was heading towards Stop & Shop. My first reaction was irritation-Great. Now we have panhandlers to deal with. I can't stand being hassled as I go about my day. As I continued to shop, I overheard the young man ask one or two more customers for a ride. They similarly ignored his request. I was a bit dismayed that the proprietors of the store hadn't chased him out. Instead, one commented on how cold it was and cautioned him to wear a warmer hat. She then proceeded to pick out a nice gray wool cap from stock and gave it to him, insisting that he wear it to fight the chill.
It was then that I noticed the Stop & Shop apron he was holding. I finally understood the reason for his behavior. He couldn't drive, it was too cold to walk, and he had to get to work. As I finished shopping, I decided that I would offer him a ride. But, before I got the chance, the store manager arranged for one of her employees to drive him to work. It was a simple act of kindness that did a great deal of good for one person. I completed my purchase feeling confident that I would do all my shopping at Alper's in the future.
It is so easy for us to neglect and ignore one another, especially during these times of stress and uncertainty. But what a wonderful example of caring that was shown to me this morning.