No Random Acts of Kindness to be Found

Saturday afternoon I walked up to the Trader Joe’s near my house to pick up a few things.  It’s in a little plaza with a Starbucks and Walgreens.  The area is always full of people and that day was no exception.  I brought my dingy old reusable grocery bag that I’ve had for a couple years in an attempt to be environmentally conscious but mostly because it is more comfortable to carry than the paper bag I would have gotten from the store.  As usual, I bought more items that I planned or needed.  I paid for my things, loaded up the bag and headed home.  About half way through the plaza, directly in front of Walgreens on a side walk teeming with people, the bottom fell out of my bag and my groceries spilled everywhere.  Luckily nothing broke and I gathered everything together but now I had a big pile of groceries and no bag.  As I stood on the sidewalk wondering how I would get these groceries home, people passed me left and right and not a single soul offered to help.  I just needed someone to watch my groceries for a minute so I could go get a bag or someone to get me a bag or give me one of their bags.   At least two dozen people walked by me in the time I stood by my groceries.  Good Lord why is no one helping me?

I had to do something so I started stuffing as many groceries as I could into every pocket I had.  Since I only had shorts and a t-shirt on I didn’t have many pockets or places to put groceries.  I didn’t even bring purse but rather also had a wallet to carry.  I had cilantro and capers in my front pockets and fruit leather and salad dressing in my back pocket.  I balanced olives and half and half and everything else as best I could as I made my way back to Trader Joes.  Even as I am tucking groceries into every available crevice, not a single person offered assistance.  Thank goodness they have electric opening doors at Trader Joe’s because I felt fairly certain at this point that no one would even open one for me.

I returned to the cashier that I just checked out with and explained that my bag broke and asked for a paper bag.  Only at that point did someone help me.  The man checking out immediately grabbed a paper bag for me and started unpiling groceries from my arms.  The man working at Trader Joe’s then graded a reusable bad and loaded the rest of my groceries in that.  I thanked them both for helping and asked what I owed for the reusable bag and the Trader Joe said not to worry about it but to just keep using the bag.

All I needed was a little help procuring a bag, a simple act of basic kindness that wasn’t easily found.  Although my faith in people diminished a little that day, it was a nice reminder that a little time and a little kindness is all we need to make the world a little better.  I hope I never walk by someone on the sidewalk with a pile of groceries.

This entry was posted in Bad Day, Life, Public Decency, Society. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to No Random Acts of Kindness to be Found

  1. ruthnoakes says:

    That’s terrible no one helped at first, I’ve been in a similar situation but not with shopping, I dropped some coins and instead of helping people picked them up and ran away with them, I did nothing because it was small change that had rolled some distance, but still, sometimes people are either neglectful when it suits them, or like vultures if they want something.

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