Powerful words.

Yesterday, with the welcome surprise of a burst of creative energy, I went grocery shopping. Unabashedly wearing my tell of a giant dopey smile, I started off in the produce section, my shuffling gait drawing the gaze of curious onlookers.

As my silent assessment ended, eyes gradually withdrew from my direction except for one pair. I looked up and saw a vaguely familiar face, surprisingly, with no judgment in his stare.

The man spoke. “Hi Pete, it’s Dean, Steve’s neighbor.”

As I kicked memory into high gear, it came to me. I had met Dean at a friend’s house about a year earlier, where we had a short but enjoyable conversation.

He continued, “Hey, I started your book and am enjoying the read, although I haven’t picked it up in a while.”

My grin widened at the ego stroke. Dean stood his ground, apparently unintimidated by the aura of discomfort I tended to project.

“Thanks, that means a lot to me,” I meant it. We continued to talk for a few minutes, and despite my normal afternoon slurring, soft voice, Dean evidently got the gist of my words, enough so that we picked back up on our discussion as we passed one another in the store aisles.

It was an unusual encounter in a couple of ways. Bereft of agenda or judgment, Dean’s simple curiosity of motive was refreshing. It made me feel buoyant, like there was a point to all life’s suffering, enabling me to drive home still wearing that damn smile.

It wasn’t the first or second time I’d encountered this glimpse of meaning; it was a lesson I needed to hear repeatedly.

Be kind. Smile at strangers. Show compassion towards your fellow man. These are simple sentences of untold power that help create a reality worthy of a touch of pride.

It’s all okay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *