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Humanity Isn't Dead
Recently, I have been "losing faith in humanity", as dramatic as that sounds. Basically, there have just been days where I feel as if I can't trust anyone, and that everyone is so self absorbed, that the world is basically a fight for your own well-being and survival, wthout a shred of true human kindness towards others anywhere. That people only do things in order to get things.
This was the mind set I was in when I went to work a few days ago.
I work as a cashier at a local grocery store. Generally, people simply want to get in and get out as fast as possible while spending the least amount of money possible, so usually, the customers I serve aren't the most pleasant people in the world. Because of this, I usually put on a "polite but emotionally distant" disguise on while working, no matter how much someone annoys or hurts me. No matter how much it pains me to do so.
This was the way I was at work a couple days ago, when a woman with her 3 kids came through my lane. It was a large order, around 400$ in total. The woman told her kids to wait for her, as she pulled out her debit card to pay. She tried the card once; it was declined. Again and again she tried, but, it kept getting rejected. Eventually, with a concerned look, she told me to suspend her order, until she could figure something out. So, I put the uncompleted order aside, and watched as the distressed woman moved her unpaid-for groceries and children out of the way.
Did I feel bad? Of course. I felt downright horrible for her, as she frantically tried to find a way to pay. However, I couldn't do anything to help her. I didn't have 400$, and the line at my cash was growing increasingly longer and impatient. So, with a shake of my head, I began to put through the next lady in line's order.
This lady only had around 90$ in groceries, and appeared pretty well off financially. Nice hair, pricey clothes... She even had the cash to buy all organic produce, which is usually ridiculously overpriced. As I was scanning her groceries, she asked me "What happened to that person's order?", while glancing at the woman (who seemed to be in a full blown panic by now) and her children.
"She couldn't pay for them. Her card was declined," I replied.
"How much were they?", she inquired.
"Around 400 dollars".
"Oh... That's too bad."
Soon, I was done bagging all of her groceries, and allowed her to pay. After paying for her stuff, the lady leaned over the counter, and said, in a hushed voice, "I'll pay for her".
"Huh?", I said. "You mean, for the woman over there? Are you sure?"
The lady insisted. "Don't tell her that I paid for them until I leave though, okay?"
So, assuming she must have known the woman from somewhere, I pulled back the information for the woman's order, and let the lady pay for it. I mean, what was I supposed to do? Say no?
After the transaction was completed, my curiousity got the best of me. As casually as I could manage, I asked her where she knew the woman from.
She looked at me, with a cool, neutral expression on her face. She replied with a simple answer:
Then, she left abruptly. I was a bit confused at this. Did she really just pay nearly half a grand for some stranger's groceries? However, I waited until she reached the front doors, and went to tell the woman about what happened.
As I told the woman that someone paid for her groceries, she looked confused. Then, a look of relief and gratitude filled her face, like air in a balloon. It was a look which showed me exactly why the rich lady did what she did; because she was human. Because she could, and it was the right thing to do. Because it would help another fellow human out.
Because humanity, although it has taken many hard hits over the years, is still alive and kicking, even if it doesn't seem to be all the time.
That lady helped a woman pay for her food. But she has shown others, including me, something even more valuable: That humanity is not dead. It is waiting within the heart's of everyone, including you, waiting to be released. And when you allow it to be free, amazing things happen. It plants seeds of humanity in other people's hearts.
Hell, humanity isn't dead; We all just need to allow it to thrive.
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