June 2011


Senior Slant:
The Kindness
    of Strangers

by Hilda Maston


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; most of the people you meet are kind and thoughtful. To realize that, you have to be a little old lady leaning on a walker or sporting a well-worn cane.

Let me tell you what I experienced recently.

I was in a store when I noticed that my shoelace was untied. I asked the clerk if there was any place that I could sit down to tie my shoe. I couldn’t do it standing up because I would fall over.

A pretty young woman was nearby and she said, “You don’t need a chair, I’ll tie it for you.”

She knelt down on one knee and tied my lace up, quickly and efficiently. She quietly walked away before I could thank her properly.

One day I was trying to get into the Doctors’ Clinic. They have a front door that is so heavy that you need to lift weights to open it. A young couple was a few feet ahead of me. I thought that they were completely absorbed in one another, but the young man broke away long enough to come back and open the door for me. He rejoined his companion before I could acknowledge his kindness.

Whenever I drive into a grocery store parking lot, someone usually brings me a cart.

Each month I pick up copies of The Link newsletter at Blue Sky Printing. Their new building has a steeply angled driveway. When I go there, I have difficulty navigating the driveway with my challenged sense of balance. The staff noticed this and suggested that the next time I visit I should honk my horn a couple of times and they would bring the newsletters out to me. And they do — every time, rain or shine. What a help!

Since I am short as well as unbalanced, I never can reach items on the upper shelves of a grocery store. I have to ask someone to hand things down to me. No matter how busy they are, they gladly interrupt their shopping to retrieve the item I need.

On another occasion I had just wrestled my walker out of the back seat of my car (in the rain) and was walking into the “sells everything” store. A young lady said to me, “Your car door came open. Is it okay if I shut it? Don’t come out in the rain — I’ll get it.”

With that, she ran out into the rain and closed my car door, keeping the driver’s seat dry.

Another random act of kindness.

I got a call to jury duty. I called the court and told them my age and the fact that I fall asleep in my chair in the afternoon. Wasn’t it nice of them to relieve me of jury duty? Justice was served.

It seems kind people find me whenever I need them.

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