And already you're probably thinking 'What?'
Well, in the last couple of days I had two experiences that really changed how I felt about the human condition (kind of I think, I'm trying really hard to word this correctly). I don't really know how to introduce things, but here's what happened.
1. I was buying groceries around 9 o'clock at night. I had no plans for the rest of the evening and this was supposed to be about the one productive thing I was going to do all day. I went to a self-checkout lane; not one of the small ones, but an 'unlimited item' one, with a long conveyor belt (hopefully you know what I mean). There was only one person in front of me, a youngish looking middle aged woman, looked like a mom. She was about to pay, so I figured it would go really quickly. She ended up messing up her pin about four times, having to call who I assume was her husband to verify that she was typing in the correct numbers. I believe that in the end she had been hitting cancel instead of enter. It took probably ten to fifteen minutes to get everything figured out, then she had to pay part in cash, she was obviously struggling financially and had foodstamps and coupons. She looked super stressed and on the verge of tears. The shop attendant had had to come over at least three times and the lady was super apologetic. She turned around and told me how sorry she was a couple of times.
As this was happening, I just kept thinking about how many people would have been super annoyed and gone into a diferent lane and I almost did the same, but I didn't have anywhere to go, so why? I felt so bad for the woman that I got a bit of a lump in my throat. I would have payed for her groceries, but she was buying over hundred dollars worth of stuff and I'm a broke college student. I just kept thinking about how rude I could imagine so many people would be and how bad I would feel in her situation.
As it turned out, she was super sick, "you know that kind of sick where you just don't want to move, everytime you stand up your knees feel like they're going to give out," I believe is how she explained it. We had a bit of a conversation while she was bagging up all of her groceries and while at first I had judged her as a bit of a white trash soccer mom, she was SUPER nice. She kept apologizing and while we were bagging up groceries together she kept saying "oh, go ahead, grab a bag, I'm the one in the way." We both bought the same tortillas and I think she accidentally ended up taking mine and hers, I didn't care. To the super sick soccer mom in meijer the other day, you keep those tortillas, you deserve those tortillas.
2. This second one is quite a bit shorter. Today I went and saw Sully in the move theater. A woman kept getting super emotional, very loudly throughout a lot of the movie. She'd laugh or go "YES!" and it was always exactly how I was feeling on the inside. It really made me happy that no one told her to quiet down. If anything, people started to join in a bit. We were all sitting in this dark theater experiencing this beautiful, emotional story together and that woman made us all feel connected, as cheesy as that sounds.
So what exactly is the importance of these moments? Human experience. Being patient and understanding and emotional and together. Living in the moment and showing kindness through every step on the journey of life. As cheesy as all this is, those two moments were two of the most surreal and eye-opening of my life.