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The ripple effect

Errands. Errands. Errands.

They never stop.

And, truthfully, they rarely bring me joy.

But recently, a few minor incidents (and a deliberate change in thinking) have altered that fact.

Errands have always meant running like crazy with little time and less money to get things we need so that I can come home and run like crazy some more to do things we need so that I can do as much as I can then collapse into bed so I can get up the next day and do it again.

Today, as I ran my errands in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, I knew that there was not much I could do to help those families from this distance except keep them close in my heart, sending them strength and compassion.

But I could choose to look at my own town differently.

At my third stop of the day, I headed to Aldi — the grocery store famous for requiring you to bring a quarter to get your shopping cart. When you’re done with the cart, you get your quarter back. As I walked up to get my cart, a young man had just given his cart AND an extra quarter to a woman who was preparing to get hers. That woman turned to me and gave me the quarter so that I could use it to get my cart.

And so it went. Each of us handing the quarter to the next customer. When I was finished, I gave the cart to someone without taking their quarter. A tiny pay it forward moment that left me full of joy.

Because of 25 cents and a shopping cart.

That gratitude and joy continued as I headed to my next stop — like a ripple effect.

As I shopped for olive tapenade (which ought to be in the olive and pickle aisle, if you ask me…not in the salsa aisle), a woman in one of the motorized shopping carts was having difficulty getting a frozen turkey out of the freezer. On an ordinary day, I probably would have stopped to help her, but today I stopped and helped her, and as I did so, I briefly looked into her eyes, offered a smile and saw her humanness. She smiled back.

A conscious decision by me to see her as a unique person for just that moment, left me feeling warm and more connected.  I don’t know her name. I will likely never see her again, but it doesn’t matter.

Pay it Forward I felt stronger.

I felt more open.

I felt blessed.

Never underestimate the value of a tiny good deed.

Pay it forward.

Random Acts of Kindness.

Take care of one another.

We can change the world.



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{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Naked Girl in a Dress December 18, 2012, 8:10 am

    And this is why Rubber Chicken Madness must live on forever. Your voice brings so much good to this world, Kimberly. Thank you for this wonderful post.

    I am off to promote throughout the internet, spreading a bit more joy today.
    Naked Girl in a Dress recently posted..Restoring Our Faith

  • idiosyncratic eye December 18, 2012, 9:36 am

    We can choose to love even when the world around us falls apart. We can be human. Most supermarket trolleys on the Continent require a euro coin to be liberated, it’s spreading here too. :)
    idiosyncratic eye recently posted..If I’m Not Talking to You …

  • Alexa December 18, 2012, 3:22 pm

    It’s really amazing how much of an impact you can have by doing something kind and simple for someone else. One day, when I remember to do it the next time, I want to pay for the car or two behind me in a drive through.
    Alexa recently posted..Blogger Day of Silence for Sandyhook

  • Mariann December 27, 2012, 5:52 am

    Sometimes things go wrong but during the holidays we have to learn to forget about those things. The only things which count are the ones who we love and the time we spend with them, I think…

  • MJ February 16, 2013, 2:11 pm

    I love this. Little things can make such a difference in our attitudes, can’t they?
    MJ recently posted..Betrayed by Half-Pint

  • Robin | Farewell, Stranger February 16, 2013, 4:47 pm

    I love that – so inspiring. It’s amazing what we can find when we stop to look for more beauty, isn’t it?
    Robin | Farewell, Stranger recently posted..Explore: Life in Pictures, Vol. 2

    • RChicken February 16, 2013, 8:08 pm

      Yes. That connection between two humans who don’t even know each others name is a powerful one. So glad I revived this post so I could remember the feeling. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

  • Gigi February 17, 2013, 9:58 am

    Beautifully said. I think everybody looked at the world a little differently that day. If we could only remember EVERY day….
    Gigi recently posted..I’m A Mom Of An Ordinary Kid

    • RChicken February 17, 2013, 1:29 pm

      So true. Every single day. I hope I can remember more often than not.

  • Twingle Mommy February 17, 2013, 3:13 pm

    Very true. It’s amazing to me how much a kind act will affect my day or a negative act for that matter.
    Twingle Mommy recently posted..How to Keep Your Sanity While Eating Out With Kids

  • Mommy Lisa February 20, 2013, 7:52 pm

    All it takes is to flip a switch, right? Love when you get little lessons like that for yourself from life. Thank you for sharing yours.

    • RChicken February 24, 2013, 9:04 am

      I think the key is awareness. If I can just “check back in” to my life — and be observant and intentional…that’s the goal!

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