Friday, September 16, 2011

Walmart Greeters and the Lost Art of Caring

I entered Walmart fully aware of all the things that could happen:

A.  Sleezy, middle aged men staring me down like a piece of meat
B.  Frantic, harried women who don't see me or my cart and mow me down
C.  Toddlers throwing temper tantrums when they don't take 'no' very well
D.  all the above

I braced myself, only entering because my newest hog tshirt addition didn't fit around my middle.  shame.

But, the strangest thing happened.  While allowing the older greeter-gentleman to scan my too-tight-shirt so I might make the return, I noticed another older gentleman that was talking to him, dimples on both sides, treating this greeter with respect and joy.  It was such a thing to witness...older men respecting each other...even though they didn't know each other at all.  And then another strange thing happened...another older gentleman came up to the greeter and informed him that yet another older gentleman sitting yonder on the bench was 92!  92 and still that man could drive...wasn't that a thing to behold, said the one man to the other. And then another strange thing happened...the original greeter-gentleman took the time to notice my hog hat and proceeded to take the time to tell me a hog joke.

And there the lot of us were...4 old gentlemen and a hog lady acting as if we were neighbors and had known and loved each other our whole lives.  It felt right.  It felt human.  It felt like it was God's way.

It made me realize that my generation and under have lost the art of caring.  We have lost the art of taking the time to look someone in the eye, smile, say hello, and even tell a hog joke.  We have lost the art of finding the joy in a complete stranger still being able to drive at the age of 92.

Most of us are too busy to even notice that there is a Walmart greeter or that there is an elderly gentleman sitting on the bench.  We are so tied up with our to-do lists and phones and texts and the never ending list of "what's next" that we no longer take the time to notice others.

Forget the tight-around-the-middle-hog-shirt.  This is true shame.

How are we going to care for our neighbors if we don't even take the time to see them?


Vanessa said...

Well said Becke'. Doesn't it make you feel great to know that there are some people who still care for one another and will take the time to enjoy those simple things. That we, all to often take for granted. Have a great weekend!

Bugs and Sunshine said...

you got texting?

haha, just kidding!

this is a wonderful post with a wonderful message. love it!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That was good!!! Kelley T.

Jenni said...

Great post. If it makes you feel better, I returned a too-tight Hogs shirt at Wal-Mart this week, too. So cute, but sooooo small. Darn.