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Paying It Forward and Why It Matters

Updated on March 1, 2017
Sallie Mullinger profile image

Sallie is a retired mother and grandmother who has written short stories for most of her life. Her stories are from her heart to yours.

There are times when we all need to step out of our comfort zones and just do the right thing.

So I just paid it forward.

Coming out of the grocery store I had just finished loading my bags into my trunk and was putting the cart back in the cart corral when I noticed an older lady, kinda frail and stooped over, struggling with her keys to open her trunk.

I wanted to offer my help but I was afraid I might offend her or worse...scare her. I don't think I look like a terrorist or anything like that but in today's world, you never know how someone might react.

It's amazing how we have become conditioned and even isolated when it comes to helping our fellow human beings.

Anyway I decided to venture over and offered my help. I figured the worst she could do to me would be to hit me over the head with her purse and I think I could handle that.

I opened her trunk and loaded her bags into it and as I handed her keys back to her I noticed she was fumbling around inside her purse and she pulled out a few dollar bills.

I shook my head no and told her to take those dollar bills up to the Salvation Army bell ringer standing outside Kroger. She liked that idea and asked me if I could do that for her.

Of course I said I would and she thanked me and then gave me the most heartfelt hug I've had in a long time.

Fighting back tears, I hugged her frail little body as hard as I could, patted her on the arm and said goodbye to her. I pulled my car up to the bell ringer and gave her the dollar bills and got back in my car. Then I drove to an empty part of the parking lot where I felt that no one would see me and I cried.

I thought of all the times we rush through our days and nights and ultimately, our lives, without taking the time to really notice those around us. We are always in such a hurry and we have become an increasingly impatient and self centered society....intent only on what matters to us.

I wondered when it all began changing. And I marveled at how a little, old lady had just opened my eyes to my own mortality.

"There but for the grace of God go I"......go all of us. For someday we will all be that little old lady and I hope that there will be someone just like me there for all of us.


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