Thursday, January 10, 2008

Two acts of random kindness under my nose. I failed humankind today.

I had one of those days where I was behind from the start. I had to do some union business in the morning, then I had planned some grocery shopping then Basketball at Cal-Courts, taking my sister Mary to lunch and doctor in Arcata, meeting of HCDCC members for registration drive and then taking Mary grocery shopping and watching the Republicans debate on Fox.

I finished my union business and went to the grocery store around an hour late. When I went to the checkout, a couple of ladies a few people ahead of me were trying to budget their purchase while the clerk checked them out. They said to stop their bill at $75. The clerk stopped the purchase at $75 with lots of merchandise still on the table. I thought a few spots behind them, "I can always pick the wrong line every time!" When the clerk said their purchase was $75 and went to collect, the ladies pooled their money, but only had $55. They were looking at each other embarrassed and did not know what to do. I was thinking, "Yep. I could only pick this line." They guy in front of me asked the clerk how much they were short. He told him $20. The guy in front of me said, "I will cover the rest, Merry X-Mas." The two ladies were shocked and thanked him. One hugged him gratefully. The Clerk shook his hand and told him it was great thing he had done. The guy who gave the $20 said that he was told not long ago he had 6 months to live because he had cancer. He was now cancer free and was passing it on. I was behind this celebration feeling so small for my petty "in a hurry," state.

I missed B-Ball and picked up my sister for her Doctors appointment. She needed to grocery shop afterwards and I took her to Winco, which is her store of choice because she is on a fixed income. Her friend (and mine) Elizabeth came along. I was waiting for my sis up front and I did not even notice a man with a walker and trying to manage a cart fumble by, until Elizabeth walked over and helped the man to his car in the parking lot. Ordinarily I would have been that person, but for what ever reason I was in a pity me party of one today. So if I cut you off driving, or I was not attentive to you hello or if I was just in anyway a jerk today. I apologize. And let me salute the great, awesome compassionate people of Humboldt County. This area is one of a kind. I failed today to be the one to pass it on.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you would quit running with those nut jobs from HCDCC you wouldn't be acting so brain dead.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you just hadx too much on your plate. (please excuse the pun)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you just hadx too much on your plate. (please excuse the pun)

The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

You will have a magnificent day soon, and it will cancel out this one.

I posted a story on my blog way back about a little dog I rescued from the speedway that is H street in Eureka. She was moving from lane to lane, and she was so small, I know she would have been hit. I pulled over as she came to the right side of the road, and opened the car door, and she jumped right in. I kept overnight until I found her owner.

The previous day I had was regrettable, and forgettable. Rescuing the dog made all things the day before wash away.

That is what I think, anyway.

-boy

Anonymous said...

Had a great day. Inadvertently I saved your life. I shot a shit eating dog.

EkoVox said...

Covering someone in the grocery line when they come up short is the right and just thing to do.
It is something I take pride in doing, especially with kids. Usually, it's under a few dollars. I always tell them, "I want you to do that for someone, someday."

But, $20! Wow, that man is a saint.

Shane said...

You were driving your sister around. I know that's just a regular thing for you, but that's because you're a good person. There are a lot of people who wouldn't do it. And there are a lot of people that wouldn't even take the time to feel bad about not helping with something they should have helped with.

You're a kind person that had a crappy day. Don't worry too much about it. Everyone has days like that sometimes.

Hayduke said...

I think the important thing is not much you missed these opportunities, but that you were sensitive to recognize you did. As shane pointed out you were driving your sister around so you were already banking points, and I am sure the next time the opportunity arises for an act of kindness you will most likely act on it. Don't sell your self short.

samoasoftball said...

Thanks. The last time I took my sister shopping at Winco,we came out and a guy needed to jump his car. I went over to help, and another volunteered, and my sister, (who has lived recently in Rocklin, Reno and Prescott Arizona) was praising this area for the way people help each other out. It is not common other places. It is a big plus here.

Carson Park Ranger said...

A very sweet post Richard. Thanks.

Kym said...

Ditto what Carson Park Ranger said. I'm a little teary eyed. I also agree with Hayduke that it is most important that you were sensitive to the good around you. And you didn't fail humankind, you passed on some inspiration to the rest of us. Thanks.

On another note, I keep wondering why you blogspot people put up with the crap in the comments. Come over to wordpress. The first time someone comments they have to put their email in and choose a name and you get to choose to allow or disallow their comments. After one accepted comment you don't modify but if they write rude unintelligent comments to the conversation like 11.35 you can easily delete them.

Why let people defecate where you write such thoughtful intelligent pieces?

Tara said...

Thanks Richard. For being an obviously good guy. And for reminding me that this community is blessed with a lot of good people trying to do right by each other.

I was beginning to wonder if I'd seriously misjudged the community when I recently put down roots here, based on a long-term love for the region and its people. The troglodytes that tend to dominate the blogosphere had me wondering.

A truly creepy example of what I'm talking about can be seen in some of the "the b**ch deserved it"-type posts on the ER article regarding the pistol-whipped hooker. I haven't seen those kinds of attitudes aired since the 70s when I lived in another, even more rural area. But I guess they're still out there, hiding under the bushes until it's safe to come out, like in an anonymous place such as the blogosphere. And I guess it's important we know they're still there and we've got some important work to do together.

Anyway, thanks for reminding me that this really is an exceptionally good and compassionate community, and we shouldn't take it for granted. We all keep it alive, person by person, or we don't.

samoasoftball said...

I had the chance to work in the state of Washington, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, and all parts of California. Humboldt is not only the most awesome area to view, it has the most eclectic progressive people you can find. And compassionate.

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Mike Buettner said...

Ditto on the "...and compassionate."

There are creeps here but the people who care rule.

Anonymous said...

I finally found a news source I can trust for my beloved old home, Humboldt County. Hey, Richard, what kind of shape is the Samoa softball field in these days?

-- Mike Wolcott
mwolcott@bayareanewsgroup.com

samoasoftball said...

Mike Wolcott! There is a blast from the past. Tito Fuentes was up a few months ago to help with "Take me out to the ballgame!" fund raiser at the Samoa Gym and we raised many thousands of dollars to renovate the Samoa Field this year. Red Clay and green outfield. And a new backstop to bury that lucky "can of stew". (Mike Wolcott was the finest sports writer for the TS late 80's. Before he and Matt Maiocco (Press Democrat) went big time in the bay area.