Checking Out Kindness in 10 Items or Less

With our second Plus It Forward Day right around the corner, it may be causing me to be nostalgic and recall one of my own personal favorite Plus It Forward moments that took place last year.

One Friday afternoon last August, I took the day off to prepare for a party I was hosting the next day. My plan was to straighten up the house and run out for food and party supplies all before 4 p.m. so that I could pick my kids up from school on time. As usual, I tried to pack more into the day than I had time for, and by the time I had made it to the grocery store, I was running late.

I managed to grab the things I needed from the aisles rather quickly, and made my way to the check out lane. The store wasn't too terribly crowded, but only a few check out lanes were open. I picked a lane and my anxiety grew as I noticed that the carts of the two people ahead of me were filled to the brim.

Then, I noticed an older woman standing in line who could use the self check out lane because she didn’t exceed the maximum number of items. I explained she could use one of those lanes (since by this time we had been waiting a while to get checked out). The woman seemed overwhelmed by the thought of the self-check out.

It was that moment that I looked down at my overflowing cart and thought to myself, “Do I get out of the line and help this woman, or do I stay in the line and hope that it speeds up?” Plus, I was already running late on my long list of errands. I opted to "Plus It Forward".

I got out of the line and helped the woman run her things through the self-checkout lane. One-by-one we scanned each item. We entered the cash through the machine and received the change. She was so grateful for the help that she offered to pay me. I refused the money, and said it was no problem and that I was just glad to help. She smiled and proceeded to the grocery store exit.

I went back to my line and proceeded to wait to be checked out again, but this time I didn't seem as rushed. I felt great about helping someone--and I realized that I just experienced a true "Plus It Forward" moment that I hope starts a ripple of kindness in my community.

If you made to the end of my post, I am glad you're here, and I challenge you to Plus It Forward. Try helping someone bag groceries, open a door in the mall, or pick up trash it your communities. You’ll not only feel great, but you'll change someone's day.

What's your Plus It Forward story? Share it on plusitforward.org