No idea how many times I've packed my hockey bag in my life, but it's a lot. At the end you do a once over making sure all your equipment is there as all it takes is one thing to be missing and you don't play.
Was getting dressed for my game and realized my left shin pad was missing from my bag...oh crap. I was already running late and there is no way to run home to grab my pad. Ran to check the lost and found to see if there is one in there, anything will do at this point, but nothing.
Now I know a lot of the guys that play at my rink, but not one person I knew was there except for those on the rink. With the prospect of having to not play after bringing the family to the rink to watch as it's one of my rare early games the kids can see I decided to ask perfect strangers from a team that would be playing after us.
|Letting someone wear your gear and get it all sweaty right before you will be wearing it is not exactly what anyone wants to do...and to do it for someone you don't know is a big ask. Lets face it, it's kind of gross!|
Walked up and asked three people who don't know me if any of them would be willing to let me wear their shin pad, to my amazement all offered to help. The tallest guy said to use his as it would fit best.
By lending me a shin pad I got to play the game I love in front of my kids. Factored in 3 goals for the game and afterwards knew I did my job as the opposing goalie gave me the finger as he walked to the table our teams were sharing by the bar. It was a fun night that wouldn't have happened if not for a strangers willingness to lend a hand.
Now I know this isn't a big deal and my life wasn't drastically effected by this small act of kindness, but for that night it was everything. Sometimes small actions can have a big effect on another person's day.
|Wasn't honestly planning to share my hockey story, but as that one kindness was paid forward tonight a 80 something year old lady named Betty made me pause for a minute and reflect. The hockey story was a big deal to me last night and the kids talked about the game today which was fun, but it was just one of thousands of games I've played and will play in my life. Tonight was a little different.|
Paying it Forward
Tonight as I walked out of the grocery store an isle over from my car I noticed an older lady unloading her groceries...well at least trying to. The parking lot slopes and the cart wanted to run away from her and I noticed the battle she was having with the cart while trying to get her bags out. She would get the bag just up off the cart and it would start to move forcing her to put the bag down again. She tried to change the angle of the cart with the same results.
I changed my direction and headed her way instead of straight to my car figuring I'd ask if she wanted a hand. As I walked up to her she was getting very frustrated with the cart. She just couldn't get the right angle with the cart and she wasn't strong enough to lift her bags out while still holding onto the cart.
As I approached she was shaking the cart in frustration. She as facing my direction and noticed me coming so I gave her a smile and walked up. With that she paused her attempts at getting the cart just right so it wouldn't roll away. Never asked if she wanted help as it was clear she needed help at that moment.
|Asked if she could hold my cart for a minute while I loaded her bags. Took me all of 30 seconds, but she literally had to wipe away a tear as she thanked me. This took me a little by surprise as it wasn't a big deal and not the first time I've helped someone load their groceries at this store. Never has anyone gotten so emotional over something so little.|
She then told me that this was her first shopping trip without her husband there to hold the cart, he was buried on Monday. Her husband would come with and push the cart up and down the isle. Then at the car he would hold the cart as she unloaded the cart. He couldn't stand without the cart or his walker, so this was his job ever since retiring almost 20 years ago.
|When I reached out to put my hand on her arm in comfort and she stepped in for a hug which I gladly gave her. With my foot holding my cart from running off, balancing on one foot, there I was hugging a woman I've never met before with my eyes watering up thinking of her situation and how taking a few seconds of my day could impact someone so much.|
Now I've met Betty and know that she likes to shop late so I will keep my eye open for her in the future.
I'm Challenging Each of You
You never what Small Act of Kindness might make someone's day. So I put this challenge out there for each of you. The challenge is simple, yet one that most won't bother to do.
Your challenge is to go out tomorrow and do a Small Act of Kindness for a stranger. What this act is really doesn't matter, just put yourself out there and be willing to make the effort to help someone you don't know.
Photo from Pixabay and then edited.
|Let me know your thoughts. My posts aren't a static piece of information, but rather the starting point of what I hope turns into a conversation.|