By Sierra Kovash
You may have already heard my story about the dollar store employee from the other day, but if you haven’t I would like to tell you about a woman who showed me an act of selfless kindness that I will not soon forget.
Monday afternoon I stopped at a nameless dollar store to get some junk food to celebrate the end of my husband’s grad school semester. Well, since there was no one in line, I cut around the little barricade which took me right by the open front doors. As I scuttled past the doors and I jokingly told the cashier that I wasn’t stealing anything. I quickly sat the items down on the counter and she looked down and said, “It’s food, I wouldn’t have stopped you.”
Her words stopped me dead in my tracks. I went from sarcastic to silent in that moment. I confusingly asked for clarification, “You wouldn’t have stopped me?”
She said, “No, if you are hungry you should eat.”
I looked into her eyes, eyes filled with wisdom. Wisdom that only someone who has felt the struggle of hunger would know. I felt an instant pain in my gut. I said, “You must know.”
Her eyes began to well. Then I said, “We need more people like you in the world.” (More tears). We both fell silent and finished the transaction. I didn’t look up while I was running my credit card (I’m too short to see over the register anyways). When the transaction was complete, I stepped to the side to gather my bags and finally saw her face again. Her face was completely red and tears where streaming down her face. I said to her once more, “I meant what I said, you are a good person and I wish there were more people like you in the world. What ever it is, it will get better.” Then I left the store.
How amazing is that woman? She didn’t know my name, my history, my life. I had never met her before or even seen her before. I was dressed nice and my makeup was done I didn’t “look” like I was in “need,” but that didn’t stop her from doing what she thought was the right thing to do.
Now, we can debate about the “ethical” thing to do in this instant all day long, but in that moment in time she was going to take care of her fellow man and was willing to do it at her detriment. Let me say that again. She was willing to do the right thing NO MATTER THE CONSEQUENCES. How many of us can say we have done the same thing?
Now, I am not condoning shoplifting or anything like that, but wow! She was willing to put her job on the line to help someone in need. She was willing to put her own comfort at risk to aid a stranger. In those moments I saw true selflessness, I saw raw compassion; compassion that will change the way I see and do things for the rest of my life.
“It’s when you’re acting selflessly that you are at your bravest.” ~ Veronica Roth
If the woman who I met that day reads this, please know you made a huge impact on me. I thank you for your selfless heart and I pray the world is kind to you and repays you in leaps and bounds.