the kindness of a stranger

I am a believer in the human spirit. Lately however, the human spirit has been lacking, especially in me. Until today.

Financially, things are tough at the moment. I have recently started a new job and things will get better, but initially, it is tough.

I fetched my 3.5 year old daughter from creche today, and halfway down the road, she said that she was thirsty. I am the parent who can say no to sweets etc, but not to something to drink. I decided to go to the shops, knowing that I had very limited funds in my bank account (R32 to be exact) as I also needed to purchase some Easter eggs for my daughter’s egg hunt coming up at her creche. We walked into the shop, and my daughter grabbed one of the smaller trolleys made for the children. I knew that I was only going to buy two things, but I didn’t have the heart to tell her to put the trolley back as she loves ‘doing the shopping’. We went to the cool drink fridge first, and she selected a drink, and we then made our way to the Easter egg ‘bin’ that has the strips of 3 eggs each. I selected two strips, and we made our way through to the tills. We queued behind this lady, who looked approximately 54, was beautifully dressed, but not in a snobby way, just a really beautifully respectful manner. She turned to look at us, and she asked me if that was ‘the sum total of my shopping’. I smiled at her, and simply said that times are tough, my daughter is thirsty so I’m buying her a juice, and that she needed eggs for her egg hunt at creche. At this point my daughter wanted to put the trolley back which she always does, and in the 30 seconds that it took for her to put the trolley back, with me watching her the whole time, this total stranger had paid for my three items.

Yes, those 3 items only cost R18, but what this angelic stranger did for me, was so much bigger than R18. She restored my faith in humanity, in the human spirit. I could not speak, except for thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. The tears in my eyes spoke the words that I could not.

The human spirit is out there; it just likes to surprise us every now and then to say hi; remember me? The human spirit is alive, inside all of US.



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