Oppressive news. Oppressive heat wave. Augustâ€™s end was not kind.
In hopes of lifting the oppressive cloud in my head, with Tippy (dog) and Tom (cat), I took an early morning stroll around the perimeter of Bonnell Park. At 6:30 a.m., it was already hot and humid. It would get worse. As we regained the street, I looked up, stopped, and stared.
The canvas banner hanging on a neighborâ€™s fence declared in loud, colorful, hand-painted letters: â€śKindness is Everything.â€ť In that moment, dark thoughts dissipated. I may even have smiled. As if that werenâ€™t enough, the dayâ€™s end would put an exclamation point on the message when I went to the grocery store to pick up a few necessities (like ice cream).
Standing in the socially distanced line, I noticed that the elderly woman checking out was flustered, fumbling in her purse. Her credit cards had been declined. She had no cash, could she write a check. Without waiting another second, a young man behind her quietly said to the checker, â€śIâ€™ll pay for it.â€ť The woman tried to protest but instead, burst into tears. â€śJust have a great day,â€ť he said, smiling. Talk about little ripples changing peopleâ€™s livesâ€¦the whole day was a lesson in kindness.