December 12 , 2019 /


So, I am standing next to the bananas, divided into two groups, organic and not. I wonder about the real difference besides the label and ten cents per pound in price.   A woman is standing a little to the left of the organic, which I always get, and I reached past her to grab a small bunch.  She turned toward me and I smiled said, “Excuse me, I just want a few organic bananas.”

She said, “Your smile is like my brother-in-law’s and he died not long ago, and then she says to another woman, probably her daughter, pushing the cart, “Isn’t his smile just like Uncle Max?”  The cart pusher said,  “Yes, it is.”  The woman by the bananas who had made the remark then gave me a big hug,

She said that her husband had died in April and that she has been rather depressed and that my smile and the hug made her day.  I told her it made mine too and she then said, “What’s your secret?”  I said that I was happy and especially so when I could share that with someone who needs it and I try to do that every day because, like her, you never know what people are dealing with.  I asked her what had taken her uncle and husband and she shared that it was pneumonia for her uncle at age 85 and stage IV pancreatic cancer for her husband, much younger.

I assured her that being depressed after such losses is really OK and that it takes time to heal the emptiness and sadness that follow the death of loved ones.  We both smiled, said good-bye and I went off to get the rest of the things on my list.

As I was leaving the store, I saw the woman again, with her daughter, in line to check out and I said, “There you are, “ and she said, “Come here, I want my daughter to take our picture together with that great smile.”

How could I not smile at this lovely woman and as I left her smiling too, I know that she is going to be just fine, that it will take more time, more smiles, more good conversations and people who care to get to a happier place.

Here’s the point. You can do that for at least one or two people every day.  We can all make our world, wherever we are, a happier, more joyful place with nothing more than a genuine smile and taking a few moments to listen to someone’s story. Everyone has a story and whether it’s by the bananas or somewhere else, listen carefully.

Comments (2)

  1. Gary this is one of my favorites! I had a similar experience with Hattie my 66 year old Uber driver. We had a wonderful conversation on the way home from the airport and we ended the ride with a hug. We smiled a lot but she also shed a few tears. It made both our days extra special. Rick B.

  2. Thanks, Rick, Yes, it’s all about sharing stories, knowing who people are, what they really need and how we can so easily respond.
    Kindness is truly contagious so we pass it on where and when we can hoping more and more catch it, Happy Holidays to you and your family.

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