Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Bystander No More

--by Michelle, posted May 13, 2006
I was with my oldest son and we were on the lookout for an open parking space in our jam-packed shopping center. We spotted a perfect one in the next row of spaces, and I manouvered our van around the turn, all the while hoping no one else would spot it and grab it before I could. And, as luck would have it, a lady was wheeling her shopping cart right in front of us, and it looked like it was getting away from her - crammed with bags and cartons of soda underneath. She herself was carrying three extra bags in her hands while trying to push the cart against a strong spring wind, and looked frazzled. She noticed us and I could tell she was trying to move over to the side so we could pass. At that moment, some of the lighter packages blew off the top of her cart, and she moved to catch them. I rolled down my window and asked if she was alright. "Yes", she said, "I'll be out of your way in just a second." She picked up the two straggling packages and hadn't gone but a few steps when one of the soda cartons on the bottom rack had fallen off and then broken open.

At that point I felt something snap in me. I pulled the van into an unloading zone and told my son to wait for a moment. I rushed over to her and the first thing she did was to apologize several times. I helped her gather everything up, took the extra bags firmly from her hands, and walked her to her car. She told me she was trying to hurry home to her son's thirteenth birthday party and her whole day had been "just one of those days". I helped her load the groceries, and she stopped and looked at me and just said, "Thank you so much". I smiled and said, "I am a mother of three and do you think no one has ever helped me out? I am just returning the favor." She smiled and said, "God bless you" and got in her car.

I walked the row over to my van where my son was waiting and had been watching. "Who was that, Mom?" he asked me. "She was a mom too, trying to get home for her son's birthday party. She needed our help," I said. And I just knew he understood with that clarity children all seem to have.

We found a good spot and walked together towards the store. As we were walking, my son took my hand. It was the most touching gesture of all, and I realized more than ever that our children are always watching.
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Readers Comments

jsmc10 wrote: Such a great act of kindness :)
thaata wrote: When we care for others, we are showing our love for god. Bringing up children in such beautiful atmosphere creates a better world tomorrow. Thanks for sharing. Goodness requires lot of publicity.
Charlie48 wrote: Children learn from what they see rather than what we say. What a wonderful teaching moment you created for your son and what a blessing for the person who you helped. May you always find a helping hand when you need one.
Sydney wrote: This is really sweet. What a lovely way to teach your son about kindness :)
Johnno wrote: cheers to all of those important lessons we teach by doing them ourselves
Randy wrote: Michelle
that was awesome!
Margaret wrote: It's messages like this that need to be broadcasted on our television stations, not the typical commercials pushing products. People matter the most and more people need to open their hearts and minds.
thomas wrote: THAT was beautiful !!!

thanks sooo much, as well !
chris mcdonald wrote: wow!!! that s really touching
Tamara wrote: Hi I'm 12 years old and I recently saw a movie called pay it foreward. It was all about doing random acts of kindness. On mothers day today we hda a bunch of roses in our church that went out to all the mothers, There were a few extra so i took the extra ones home with me and placed them on people in my neighborhoods doorsteps. Then when i was delivering newpapers on wednsday one of my neighbors had seen me drop of a rose at their doorstep, ran up to me and gave me a huge hug. That had made my day, that sometimes people just need something small liek a rose to make them happy!

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