Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Lesson Learned...the Hard Way

--by grammagussie, posted Aug 19, 2009

A long while back, I used to work as a bus and van driver for an organization that provided services to the elderly in our county. I transported senior citizens to and from the senior center on the bus and also took them on field trips to various places.

One old lady, Mrs Garripy, was very slow. She only walked a few steps at a time before she needed to stop, sit and rest. It was such an effort for her to get around that I often thought to myself, "Oh Mrs Garripy, if only you would just exercise a bit more then you would be able to move around more easily and you wouldn’t be so tired or out of breath."

Years later, my thoughts came back to haunt me.... I had undergone serious surgery which nearly took my life. I spent the next year recovering in bed.  I was so weak that I could not go anywhere. As I started to heal, I could only walk a few steps at a time and I would have to stop and rest and would get out of breath easily. All the exercise in the world would not have given me the strength I needed to function. Oh how I related to the plight of Mrs Garripy and realized that I had been so judgmental towards her. My eyes of understanding were opened.

One day (when I was starting to regain my strength a little) I went shopping for a few groceries. I used a motorized handicap cart to go around the store. A very kind young lady stopped next to me and asked me if I needed any help reaching the items that were higher up on the shelves. That moved me so much and I never forgot her act of kindness.

Now whenever I see someone in the store in a handicap cart, I ask them if they need help reaching anything.

I hope I'll always feel empathy for others and not have to learn the lessons the hard way.

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Readers Comments

Aminu wrote: It is a great lesson to a lot of us in the word allah test us in so many ways so we have to be considerate sometime not to intimidate people with disability or poor. Thank you for the story.
Pam wrote: I am very tall and people always ask me to get things off the top shelf. I am happy to do so. I will offer my service whenever i see the need.
warmth wrote: thank u for sharing this wonderul lesson with us and inspiring to be kind. Love u. God bless u and pray u always stay healthy. Keep SMiling :)
wayfarer wrote: Impressive, Gramma! We live and we learn, don't we?
FairyBubbles wrote: Yes,we never know what has happened to someone in their life - and why their life is as it is. That is a really good lesson. Thanks you
JuneBug wrote: Great story ! Great lesson !!! That's what it is about. Learning and continously learning....:)
AURELIA wrote: It's good to hear that you learned and keep remembering how to passing the kindness forward. :0) ~Aurelia

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