Mind Ready Monday: Look Around, Someone Needs You

I do a lot of running. From my house to the car. From my car to the doctor’s office. From the doctor’s office to the store. I like to obnoxiously speed walk from one place to the next.

I’ve said before, though, it’s easy to miss things when we’re running too quickly. A friend’s new haircut. The updated paint job in your office. The barista’s name who takes your order every morning.

Coincidentally, my dad told me a story last night about my late grandfather— on how he was always very aware of his surroundings. My grandpa was an immigrant from the Middle East, and helped run a grocery store after moving to the States.

As the story goes, two elderly women— both widows— would come into his store every week to buy the same basic items (milk, eggs, cheese, etc.). The pair would use food stamps each time.

For two weeks, the ladies had stopped coming in. My grandfather became concerned, and soon learned the women had lost food stamps for whatever reason and could no longer do their weekly shopping. So, he started sending them two bags each week— at no cost— filled with the same items they would typically buy.

The kind gesture jumped out to me for two reasons: one, because this was at a point when my grandfather was barely able to make payments on the store. And two, because he took time to see the details. He didn’t always work the checkout line, yet he knew his loyal customers and their buying habits. He also knew when to be concerned, and acted on his gut.

Sometimes, all it takes to make a significant impact is to look around. Know your surroundings. Notice the haircuts and the paint jobs and the barista’s name. And look out for people who might need you. They’re not always as far away as we often imagine.