Doubling down on kindnesss

While waiting in line at the post office yesterday, the distinctive banter of relaxation beyond boredom danced in my ears.

“Hey Bernie,” a young woman, the only person working the front counter, called to her coworker in the back sorting mail. “Would you get me something to drink?”

The query caught me off guard. Still, her voice sharpened my awareness, her raw authenticity radiating in emotional turmoil.

“Come on, Bernie. It will take five minutes, please?” she continued in a soothing voice, like a yoga instructor describing a challenging pose. She was good-naturedly teasing Bernie.

Realizing I was next in line, I stopped dabbing the excess saliva from the corners of my mouth. Trying to speak coherently in the afternoon took a lot of work. I’d discovered that Parkinson’s induced drooling usually put an end to any chance of conversation. The visual image complemented the aural, too much for most people to reconcile with the possibility that a conscious person was behind the distractions.

The next day, I was back, waiting in line with the same woman working the counter. I asked her if she had ever gotten her drink the day before, she said no, and I asked her what kind of coffee she liked. She told me with a big grin. Ten minutes later, I walked into the post office with a tall, caramel Macchiato eliciting laughter as the woman behind the counter explained to onlookers the previous day’s events.

Why spend time and money on a stranger?

I didn’t do it as payback for looking beyond my appearance. Not being “normal” doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong, in fact, it might indicate that you see things others cannot, that you are past the limitations of viewing the world through the physical senses.

Doing the unpredictable unexpectedly transports two souls beyond societal expectations, freeing up our perception, opening a narrow window for a glimpse at the power of true sincerity. A better question to ask ourselves might be, why not?

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