Here’s what I did today to stay positive:
1. I parked in a space where some thoughtless moron had left a shopping cart. I got out, corralled the shopping cart and five others and steered them through traffic to the front of the store so others could use them.
A few people honked at me in annoyance. Without the red apron, it’s pretty clear I don’t work for the store, I’m just an adult woman wrangling carts. Still, no one wants to be slowed down in the grocery parking lot.
2. In the grocery store, someone picked an apple from the display and a whole bunch of apples rolled onto the floor. She walked away. I picked them up, while wishing her well in my head. Part of my head disagreed, but I continued with the thought.
3. In the self-checkout, a guy at the next machine didn’t know where to put the bills. I showed him the location. He smiled at me and I smiled back.
4. Going out, I met a women who was carrying some heavy bags. She was walking with a cane. I carried the bags to her car, although she said she could do it. I said, “I’m sure you could, but I’m offering to help for me; I need to feel better about my life.” She laughed and I loaded the groceries into her trunk.
5. In another store, I stepped out of the checkout line to reach for an item five feet away. When I tried to step back in, the woman behind me had closed the gap and told me, “You snooze, you lose.”
I stepped in behind her and mentally wished her well. This time, I noticed that the other side of my head was quieter. I got through my wish for her happiness without mental debate. I realized she was unhappy and cutting me out of line made her feel better. OK, small price to pay for someone’s happiness.
As she got to the checkout counter, she turned around and looked at my five items and back to her full cart. “Would you like to go ahead of me?” she said. “I’d love to,” I answered. And I did.
The act of wishing people well, wishing them happiness is never wasted. Not on their happiness and not on yours.
—Quinn McDonald is a writer who teachings writing as a healing practice. She also teaching business writing and grammar. And finds no controversy in any of those pursuits.