The voice came from behind me (it's Melanie's husband, Bill, - standing in for the Artist today) with this unsettling question. For just a moment, I didn't know what this could possibly mean.
For quite a number of years I have done our grocery shopping. On this particular day I had gone out early to shop and was nearing the end of my grocery list standing in the dairy aisle studying the cheese options.
Due to the engaging nature of sliced cheese, I had not noticed that a kapuna of some 75 or so years was searching nearby. She pointed to the top shelf and told me that she wanted one of what looked to be a sold out item from an empty shelf. She added that she could see in a reflection from above that there was one left at the very back of the shelf. I'm not sure my arms are particularly long but in this case, they were sufficient to quickly retrieve the cheese she wanted.
- the rest of the story -
After handing it to her she thanked me quite warmly and with a beaming smile said, "I hope something wonderful happens to you today." And with that she disappeared around a corner leaving me with a smile and brighter outlook on my day.
It happened so quickly, but the interaction was so pleasant and her well-wishes were so genuine that I found it to be a remarkable experience. Just seconds later I thought of the words I wished I'd had ready. I would love to have said, "Something wonderful did just happen to me. I got to meet you."
What might sound like a fairly insignificant interaction in a grocery store was, for me, a profound experience. At the time this happened, Melanie and I were months into the research and design process of the Touch of Encouragement Art Cards. Along the way there have been plenty of moments of doubt.
Melanie's art is fabulous of course, but why should we think these cards would make any difference in such a troubled world? Little 2x3 pieces of paper can't possibly have a meaningful impact on people's lives! And the truth is, tiny slips of paper don't have that power--at least not on their own. But that is not the point of our Encouragement Art Cards.
The exuberantly gracious shopper had pleasantly reminded me that even short, unexpected human interactions impact our day. Most of our "bad" days are not due to wars and cancer and traffic accidents (as terrible as those things are). They are made up of far lessor evils. In the same way, a good day does not require a long vacation or winning lottery ticket. The short conversations and quick interactions that make up our day are opportunities. Moments that hold profound potential for good or for ill.
We are producing Encouragement Art Cards now with a firm conviction that carrying a few little cards can help remind and guide us to interact with the people in our world with words of grace, gratitude and comfort. It's a little something concrete to encourage people that someone genuinely cares--making their day turn out much brighter than they had expected.
Did this story make you smile?
If you’d like to share with me how this artwork and story has impacted you, you can use my contact form here. I’d love to hear from you.
Or, perhaps you would like to have a set of Appreciation Cards to spread more joy in your world? They are available in the Gifts of Encouragement Store on this website.
An idea to encourage those who serve you each day:
In the interest of encouraging a safer and healthier culture, I have greatly reduced my participation in social media platforms. I invite you to follow me by subscribing to my email newsletter and returning to my two websites regularly.