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Goodwill toward men - one way it happens

Updated on December 6, 2012


I finally saw ‘IT’ in action!! I’ve been talking about ‘IT’ and usually I am at the head of the class, doing my best to begin “IT”, never getting to see the results. This time I was in the middle of “IT” actually taking part of “It’s” awesomeness. What is “IT” you ask? ‘Goodwill toward Men’; In this case Goodwill toward Men and Women. Let me explain.

For years I have been on my soap box preaching to anyone who will listen about RAK’s (Random Acts of Kindness) and how one good deed will spread to another. Usually I’m at the tail end of the opposite and end up attempting to change what someone has done in front of me. In essence I try to make a person smile that has been treated badly by another.

Bad Will does happen

I’d begun to despair for humanity after speaking with my husband on the phone the night before. He is a truck driver and was in a large truck stop in Tennessee, while we were on the phone I heard all the nasty things that were being said on the CB radio. He told me of a few truckers who in a restaurant were quite nasty to those of a different color, even causing fear. He could see it in the eyes of those who were being spoken about. We both understand the frustration levels of most American’s these days, wondering if that job is going to be there tomorrow or even next week. This does not give the excuse to treat others badly.

What an eye opener!!

You could imagine my surprise after hearing all of this to see the opposite happen right before my very eyes.

I had stopped at the Grocery store on my way home from babysitting. I was not in the cheeriest mood because I’d had to get after my grandson for getting in trouble in school. I don’t think there is a Memaw in the world that wants to yell at her grandchild!! I divine hand must have been guiding me into that particular line, it was not the shortest, there were 2 people ahead of me.

All of a sudden I noticed the cashier was gone from her place. It was fine, I wasn't in a hurry anyway, so I listened. This is where the beauty began:

She's obviously been practicing!

A Lady in front of the person in front of me was chatting at the young man in front of me, even looking back towards me; she had the biggest smile I’d ever seen! She was apologizing for sending the cashier off to do an errand etc. She had forgotten to get her Italian dressing, so the cashier went to get it for her. I have seen this particular cashier at work before and although she is not what you would call unfriendly, she also is not overly friendly.

The lady was just chatting away and the cashier came back holding the dressing. The lady couldn't thank her enough for her kindness, but apologized for holding the rest of us up. I watched the cashier’s face, go from not so happy to very happy. The young man in front of me was grinning from ear to ear. When the lady mentioned that she must be the ‘fastest’ cashier at the store, she got a big grin on her face but said “No, the fastest is right over there” as she pointed to another cashier. After much ado the lady paid for her groceries wished us all a Great day and left.

A Young Man

The young man was next in turn; he began a lovely conversation with her. She noticed he was buying supplies to make spaghetti for dinner so I found my way into the conversation by mentioning that my daughter was making spaghetti for dinner as well, for her family. He discussed how his mother said “Let’s have spaghetti for supper – go get the stuff and DON’T forget the garlic bread!!” The cashier joined in talking about having spaghetti two nights before, but forgetting the meatballs, which ended up being left for another night. He paid for his groceries and turned to me and said “I hope you have a Great Day!!” He left with a big smile on his face.

My Turn

Next it was my turn I was buying supplies for candy making. Since Christmas is close at hand I like to make goodies when I can for those around me. She asked me what I was making so I went on to discuss the peanut brittle and fudge that were in my plans. The man behind me jumped into the conversation. When I mentioned that some of my goodies would make their way to Pennsylvania to my son and his family he hoped that I would be keeping some for my home. I paid for my supplies turned and wished the man behind me a very good day, with a smile.

Had I thought about it, I would have went somewhere close by and watched more unfold. The line continued behind the man as well.

The Red Bucket

This year I have not been able to pass one of those ‘Red Buckets’ without putting some change into it, yesterday was no different. I actually had to wait in line a bit to do so. Having been a “Bell Ringer” in my youth I can understand the cold that seeps into the bones of those standing out there waiting on change or dollars to be put in the bucket.

The Challenge or Dare to you!

My challenge to you – the reader is this: Today (or any day that you go out in public) join in with the Goodwill toward men. If you see a smile happening encourage it, join in on the conversation with a smile. If you see the opposite happening (bad will) do your best to halt it in its tracks. Watch the Goodwill spread to those around you! Once it’s happened you will notice it happens more and more and becomes easier as time goes on. Come back here and tell me what happened and how it came about.

I Dare you!


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    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      AWESOME!!! I can't wait to hear your results.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Once Goodwill starts, it's difficult to stop the process! Thanks for sharing this, Sweetsusieg. I am taking the challenge to spread good will. Sharing this hub, for a start!!

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      Well Thank You!! My daughter and I went Christmas shopping today so we made sure to give a little happiness in each store that we visited. It makes our shopping experience a little more pleasant as well as those who were there to assist us.

    • tebo profile image


      6 years ago from New Zealand

      What a lovely hub. A smile can certainly make a huge difference to the way people feel and behave. You are right it is the little acts of kindness that make peoples days.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      Sweet!!! Very good to hear - I will be waiting to read what you have done!!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Great! Practical. Humanitarian. Touching. I'm taking the challenge. Voted Up and More!

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      It's crazy but the more I do it consciously - I'm finding that I am now beginning to do it unconsciously as well. I get home and think back on my day and realize how many times during my outings I've given and received a little 'goodwill'.

      Thanks so much for the UP++++!!!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Suz....a woman after my own heart. Bless you. Smiles and kindness are absolutely contagious. Holding a door, allowing someone to get ahead of you.....admiring a mother's baby and complimenting her on her children, stopping to let a driver get into the line of traffic....

      Little things? Yes, they are, but they cause chain reactions.....I am one who believes that the majority of human beings want to give and receive positive interaction. You are so right. It just takes a moment...but the effects are lasting. ....UP++++

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      @ drbj - I'm a talker so standing in line for me is never boring unless I have no one to talk to, should that ever happen I find myself talking to ME!! LOL If nothing else folks leave me thinking that either I'm extremely friendly or nuts - either way - it's ok with me because at least I made them smile.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      @ tlpoague - I was in JoAnn's the other day and spent a good 1/2 hour talking with a lady that had crocheted years ago and was hoping to pick it back up again. What a joy it was for me to help her!! We discussed yarns, hooks and the like along with different patterns. My daughter was with me and since she knows me very well she just smiled and waited patiently while I yakked away. She ended up getting a new crochet hook designed for those who have arthritis and carpel tunnel along with the yarn to make a dishcloth or two. I love that!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      It's true, susie, the 'Good Will' behavior spreads like a virus. I find that when I initiate a conversation with a cashier or server, really listen to them, smile and have a genuine conversation, we both end up with smiles on our faces and good will in our hearts. Temporarily, at least.

    • tlpoague profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      It is amazing how fast a friend is made when you are working on a project. I had to make it a habit to take my yarn and hooks with me to work so I would whip out a project between customers and during our slow time. Isn't it satisfying to hand one off to someone and watch their reaction? I love the feeling.

      I "borrowed" an idea from one of Nell's hubs on how to make chokers, and started to crochet my own for my latest project. I am using old pieces of broken jewelry for the charms and decoration on them. It has been fun to practice patterns and then give them away. The look on some people's faces are priceless. I never thought until now to make a hub on these projects. I will have to keep that in mind for the future. (My mind is filled with projects now, so I am having a hard time concentrating while typing...LOL!) I will keep you posted!

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      That is so cool!! I too crochet and have taken to carrying a small ball of yarn or two as well as a crochet hook. I make 'key chain scarves' for strangers. If I have to sit anywhere for 10 minutes or more I whip out my hook and grab the end of my yarn quick as a wink I've made a new friend! I love the looks I get when I hand them over.

      Keep up the goodwill!! I love to hear the stories!!

    • tlpoague profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      I recently took up crocheting. It happened one day while I was catering a craft fair and thought to myself...hey I can do that. So, I went home to begin a few projects. Before I knew it, I had crafted a few headbands and some cute infant hats. During this time, I found out that my daughter was going to have a boy, and my cousin was having a girl. I ended up giving away most of my craft projects to them, which soon led to me giving away a few more to a neighbor who's daughter had recently had a baby. When my cousin was asked where she bought the hats and headbands, she promptly told them..."They are a one of a kind from TKDesigns." She was so happy about the gifts that she quickly made up a name for my products. To this day, I still use the name and started to sell my crafts.

      It is amazing how far a little kindness while go. I will remember this hub next time I am standing in line waiting to check out. Thanks!


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