About six months ago (maybe even more?) I was in the grocery store. And at our store, there is one of the world’s nicest, most chipper, sweetly spoken checkout girls ever in the history of the world.. She’s nice to the point that you almost think that you are secretly being taped for some video show and a prank is going to ensue.
She seems to love her job. She smiles, she always remembers me, she makes very pleasant small talk as she rings my items through.
As sad as it is to say, it catches me off-guard every time I encounter her because, honestly, that’s pretty rare these days. I think.
Well, that day all those months ago, she finished my order and as I was leaving the store, I turned around, doubled back with all of my bags and gave her something.
A Karma Coupon.
One of my good friends gave these silly little coupon books to a bunch of her friends. They hold Good Karma Coupons and Bad Karma Coupons and flip open just like a regular checkbook. They are ornately designed and Buddha is somewhere on them, akin to the portraits on our money. The top of the flip has the Good and the bottom stack, the Bad (oooo…). They cover all sorts of subject matter, you just choose what situation you are in, rip it out and hand it over to the person. Or anonymously leave it for them. For example…Bad Karma coupons are for those people who parked in two spots instead of one, waitresses who were rude, folks who just need… a reality check. Or a Karma Check.
The Good are for the folks like my checkout girl.
I had never used these little slips of paper at all, although there seemed to always be a time to use some of them. I never had them when I could have used them or frankly, they are pretty silly…was I really going to hand someone a Karma Coupon? I felt like a 10 year-old.
But I did. I went back and handed this girl a Good Karma Coupon. Guess I was feeling silly that day. It was a small way of thanking her quietly for being just a really nice, sweet person and considering that grocery shopping is on my Top 10 List of Hates, she makes it better.
Fast forward to yesterday. New Year’s Eve. I, along with the rest of the eating world, went to the grocery store. I was expecting a mob scene (my neighbor told me forcefully NOT to go THERE! It’s NUTS! as she was there a half-hour before) but I needed to go. Food is good on New Year’s Day. We needed some.
Cruised into the lot, found a spot right off the bat and I must have hit some weird lull, because I even cruised into a checkout line that had only one person ahead of me. And they had 10 things and not 300.
And there’s my checkout friend!
Hellos and pleasant, happy, small talk, New Year’s wishes exchanged.
And then, as I was gathering my things to exit she said….”Have a great holiday! I still have that coupon you gave me, you know!”
Wow. How cool is that? See, it counts.
She remembered that crazy little piece of paper emblazoned with Buddha that I handed her all those months ago. Who…woulda…thunk?
I love stuff like this. It jazzes me to no end.
Because of this, I have come up with the perfect way to start my New Year. After the very recent reminders to the world that there is such evil present, we also have to remember that there is ultimately more good in the world. We all witnessed the evil in Newtown but then we saw how much good came from it, too.
Therefore, I’m starting 2013 by doing 26 Random Acts of Kindness. The 26 acts honor the fallen in Newtown and then bring some wee blasts of joy to the world. Whoever came up with this idea (Ann Curry?)….well, give them a gold star. I’ve seen it ad nauseam in the papers for the past few weeks, but it was on the backburner in my mind due to the holidays. Great thought, but did I have the time or even the energy?
But January 1st of a brand, new year….what is better than starting it off with 26 days of beautiful, creative, GOOD old fashioned optimism?
Care to join me?
Happiest New Year wishes to everyone…let’s make it a Good One!