The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

older-adult-grocery

Earlier this past week I was in line at the grocery store.  I had but only a few items to buy, so I went into the line I thought would move the quickest. Haven’t we all done that? You know what I mean, I’m sure. You have your items in hand (or basket) and with the eye of an eagle you begin to scan the conveyor belts at each lineup.  If you are like me you will no doubt pick the slow boat most of the time.

Ah, there it was, beckoning me forward to speed through the line where but one mere soul was standing.  No sooner did I plop my cereal and Brillo Pads (scrubby pad for dishes!) onto the conveyor, I realized this line was going nowhere fast.  The lady in front of me was having a heck of a time with her payment, did she want delivery service, where was her artichoke dip, and the like.

She was an older adult, bless her.  I could see that she was a bit confused, and I felt for her, knowing that perhaps what to many might seemed like a routine event was monumental for this dear soul.

I waited patiently all the while aware of the stern gazes and ‘rude’ remarks being made by other customers behind me.  I heard one lady say aloud to no one in particular, “This is why my husband always asks me why it takes so long to go to the grocery store.” With her occasional, “Hhhhmmpph” noises to boot, my patience was wearing thin for her and the other ‘glaring’ people (including the cashier), not with the older lady.

I noticed the older lady left her purse on the conveyor belt.  “Excuse me”, I chimed.  “You’ve left your purse on the belt!” She hadn’t realized this, and was so appreciative that I handed it to her.” “Oh, you are my angel today”, was her reply.  She swooped in for a hug which I was only too glad to accept. I wished her a lovely day, and off she went.  For those in line (and the cashier) I stated the following:  “You know, it’s probably a good idea to have patience with those who might seem a bit confused or needing extra time.”  “I think they really would appreciate it.” And of course my comments were greeted with a round of nothing.

patience

A few months ago I wrote a post called, ” My Unsolicited Advice To A Stranger “.  Well, I’m doing it again in this post addressed to these customers and the cashier.  So here it goes:

  1. They say that patience is a virtue.  Please consider being a virtuous person and have patience when waiting for an older adult to complete their grocery transaction.
  2. How about some empathy for an older adult.  You are all younger than this woman.  You do not see the daily struggles she may endure simply having to decide if she feels up to traipsing to the grocery store for some milk and waffles.  The empathy can reveal itself in your kindness realizing that you too someday may be in the exact same situation.  Oh how you would relish others treating you with kindness and empathy.
  3. Offering to help another in this situation might be the only kind thing that has happened to them all day (or all week, for that matter).  Imagine how you would feel not having a single kind word said to you for an entire week and then encountering unsympathetic people when all you are trying to do is buy something to eat that day.
  4. Watch your body language and glares.  This woman did absolutely nothing wrong to warrant your mean-spirited looks and eye-rolling.  The last time I checked, it wasn’t illegal to take but a few extra minutes to find your coupon.
  5. Be careful of the energy you put out into the world.  There is nothing good about filling up the universe with your negative attitudes towards others, especially those who need our support more than anything.

I noticed the dear older lady was going to use the delivery service offered by the grocery store, but once hearing the cost instead decided to take her groceries with her.  A store clerk helped her walk down the street with her purchases (I was walking behind them so I saw her frail, unsteady gait as I felt my eyes welling up with empathy).

I hope that dear lady knows that not everyone is without patience and understanding.  I think it’s a good reminder for us all (and yours truly no doubt) to take that little breather when we find ourselves frustrated by ‘seemingly’ outputting situations.  Your understanding might just be the best and most appreciated thing for not only the other person, but for you as well.  Think about how good it feels to truly help others.  A humbling thought.

older-adults

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42 thoughts on “Sunday Serenity: More Unsolicited Advice To A Stranger

  1. What a lovely post, Cher 🙂
    I can only agree with you and you surely were her angel for that day or week or month. Many forget to think, that they also will become old one day. You are a kind soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Ah, bless! Thank you so much, Irene! That is extremely thoughtful of you to say. I really feel we do need to take pause before saying something or reacting to a situation where empathy needs to come into play. 🙂 Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right, Cher.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. John says:

    Oh Cher, God bless you for posting this! I’ve been in these situations many times in the grocery line. Some folks are so darn rude today. They lack patience, understanding and empathy for others. I recall a gentler time in America. i was in the grocery line about an hour ago actually, had no issues with anything but it did slow down the one person who was behind me as the register had closed. i apologized for slowing her down, that was met with a blank expression and no words. The machine doesn’t take more than four digits for a PIN, my PIN is seven digits and I’ve never had an issue until now. Each day of our lives are different.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Ah, thank you so much, John! I am so sorry you had to go through that today. It only takes a second for someone to say a kind word or a nod of agreement. The ‘blank stare’ is all too familiar to me. 🙂 Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. John says:

        it’s no biggie to me these days. how about a blank stare for Albertson’s and the banking institution they use, not allowing more than four digits for a PIN? doink!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        *biggest grin* 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy says:

    Thank you, Cher for sharing the story and your thoughts! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Why thank YOU, Amy! I really appreciate it! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Victo Dolore says:

    Amen! Some day it may me who needs that extra patience and kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Why thank you, doc! That is so very true! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. zdunno03 says:

    A lovely story and good advice to the cashier and other customers on line. Whenever I find myself in similar circumstances, I just imagine the elderly person is my mother and suddenly I have all the patience necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Why thank you so much for your thoughtful words! Yes, that is a wonderful thing to do. In fact, I am dismayed that more people don’t do exactly what you suggest. I’ll keep ‘speaking up’ whenever I see this situation; perhaps someone will ‘get it’! 🙂 Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. laura kilty says:

    It is amazing to me how short-sighted people are in terms of not realising that we will all be old one day. The level of impatience and lack of empathy can be truly startling sometimes. I’m glad your inner guidance led you to be at her counter so you could speak up for compassion. Good work Angel Cher! I’ll send love and blessings to her in my ‘sending love’ ritual tonight. And of course, always sending love and hugs your way!x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Hi Laura! Yes, I think people become so ‘self-focused’ that they don’t truly realize how incredibly important it is to be empathetic and understanding where others are concerned (and specifically to older adults in this case). Awh, bless! Well didn’t you just make my entire week! What a great way to start a Monday! Thank you, Laura! Cher xo P.S. Right back at you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Erika Kind says:

    What an important reminder, Cher! Too often we get lost in our own daily hectic and forget about it. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      We sure do, don’t we, Erika? I was hoping that the customers and the cashier would show some kind of ‘understanding’ when I commented about the importance of patience with our older adults. Nope, it didn’t work. However, I’ll try again sometime! 😉 Thank you, Erika! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Erika Kind says:

        You are an angel sent to for them. In the end, no matter how ignorant and intorerant some may be as long as there are those who care. That weighs much more!!!💖

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Ah, bless! Thank you, Erika! I appreciate your thoughtful and kind words. Yes, you are right; as long as there are those of us who care, that is the main thing! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Lisa Orchard says:

    You make a great point with this post and we all have to realize that we’ll be that age someday. We should treat others the way we want to be treated! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Why thank you, Lisa! Yes, I quite agree! When my mother read my post she summed it up like this: “You wrote about the Golden Rule: Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You!” Something to be mindful of, isn’t it, Lisa? Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lisa Orchard says:

        Definitely! Karma is real. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Oh yes, indeed it is! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Bit late, Cher, catching up with myself as I’ve had some real problems with fibromyalgia and hip/back pain, keeps me awake at night and tottering around like a zombie during the day. Lovely words and thoughts from you, just been reading someone’s comments about how awful baby boomers are and it’ll be a good day when they’re gone which really got right up my nose. Sanctimonious git! Yes, I think it’s a shame the way the older generation is consigned to invisibility and impatience, but there are plenty of kind people like you out there, have seen it in action many times. Did I ever tell you of the time in London when a young man asked me if he could shake my hand? I told him I’d do more than that, I’d give him a big hug. Which I did. Then strolled off leaving him looking gobsmacked!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Ah my dear Mo! Bless you! I am so sorry you’ve been dealing with such challenges! Hope things are getting better. Ah, well done! I bet he didn’t expect that, but I am sure he was glad you gave him a big hug! Yeay!! We do need to be mindful of our patience for others (and especially our lack thereof for older adults). My goodness, how have people become so offtrack, Mo? Cher xo

      Like

  10. Kate Loveton says:

    Cher, reading this post made my evening. Bless you – what a lovely person you are!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Well how incredibly sweet of you to say, Kate! Thank you so kindly!! Cher xo

      Like

  11. Ritu says:

    So touching Cher! We should Indeed be more aware of the situations of those around us and not assume x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Why thank you, dear Ritu! We do need to be more mindful of those around us, don’t we? This dear soul (thank goodness) had no idea of the way the others were looking at her. I’m glad for that, as I am certain it would have upset her!! Thank you, Ritu! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ritu says:

        Thank goodness she wasn’t aware xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Oh yes, I think so too, Ritu! xo

        Liked by 1 person

  12. thebeasley says:

    It doesn’t take much to be kind & patient after all. Well said Cher. I hope people take note.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you, Hayley! You are so right; it doesn’t take much to be kind and patient. It sure can have a huge affect though. If it happens again, I think I might have to say a little something like, “It’s nice to be patient with our older adults!” 🙂 🙂 Thank you, Hayley! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I have a week of being surrounded with other people criticizing others. It drained the hell out of me and left my soul bruised. Your post has been a balm of healing. Thanks ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Oh Diana, how you have literally made my entire week by your kind and thoughtful words! I am so sorry you’ve had that kind of week. It is in those moments of negative energy that can cause us such disillusionment, can’t it? I do hope you have a lovely week ahead, filled with tons of moments of kindness, compassion, and healing. I’m sending you some energy right now. Thank you, Diana! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Traci York says:

    Excellent (and unfortunately necessary) reminder for those folks who seem to think shopping is a race, and people like this dear lady are obstacles to their win! Kudos to you as well for speaking up when she was gone – while you were met with silence, you never know who might have taken your words to heart, and who might be kinder and more patient next time around. Massive *hugs* to you for your angelic kindness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Ah, bless! Why thank you so much, Traci! Oh yes, I agree; it only takes a few extra moments to make such an impact on others. It does make me wonder why we have such impatience and uncaring gestures to others. And I daresay when they are old will they remember their unkind and less than caring behaviors? Maybe not, but I do hope they learn these lessons along the way! Blessings to you, dear Traci! Thank YOU! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  15. April Munday says:

    That’s lovely, as well as very sad. I wonder if people just don’t have the imagination to see that they will be in that person’s shoes one day. If I do start to become impatient in a queue, I tend to blame the shop/bank/post office for not having enough people on hand to reduce the length of the queue and not the person in front of me who’s taking up the cashier’s time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Ah, bless! I am so glad you see it as a lack of resources, April; you know, and not as any one person’s ‘fault’. I try step into the person’s shoes and say, “How would I feel if it was me who was confused, unsteady, etc.” I’d certainly want kindness and patience, as I am sure all of us would want. I’ll keep ‘reminding’ people!! *LOL* Thank you so much for your comments, April! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

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