AMAZED: The unexpected gifts

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This past week an amazing thing happened to me. It was one of those things that you read about in books and newspapers or see on TV, but never expect it could happen to you.

I was shopping at the mall. While waiting for the clerk to finish ringing up my purchase, a gentleman walked up to the counter and said, “I will pay for her coat.” I could hardly believe my ears and definitely didn’t know how to react. When my voice reappeared, I told him thank you and that I would find a way to pay it forward.

Part of the reason for letting you know what happened is because I have no way of letting this generous gentleman know what a profound impact his kind gift has made. Another is what it made me realize. Because it was a monetary gift, I gave it a different importance than the other things I hadn’t thought of as gifts, but as I considered his, I remembered receiving. The lady in Costco’s parking lot who came to my rescue as I was struggling to get a heavy item out of the cart and into my car while the cart kept moving. Then there was the driver who left room for me to turn onto the street from the parking lot. Another was a Big Lots clerk who spent time helping me. There are others, too.

I am so sorry that I haven’t put value on those everyday gifts I have been given as they are precious. I may not be able to show that kind gentleman a pay it forward as a monetary gift, but I can do the everyday little things. I can smile at people I meet as I walk on streets or in stores. I can wish others a good rest of their day and really mean it. I can pause for cars that need to come out of lots. I can try to make someone’s day happier in small ways that evoke gratitude, as well as major gestures. I want whatever I do to reflect caring and compassion.

I will be grateful for all the chances at joy I have been given and pass that joy on as well as I can in as many ways as I can. So again I thank that kind gentleman who not only gave me something I needed, but more importantly gave me the rare gifts of insight and inspiration.

BETTY HENTGES

Coeur d’Alene

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