Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Shopping Cart

Ohhhhh.... it's good to be back to my little world of blogging!

After two whole months of no postings, I'm itching to get back into it! I've truly missed it.

I want to ensure that you get some updates on how everyone in the family is doing, and I promise I will post about that in the next few days, but I wanted to talk to you about something in particular today.

A number of years ago, a new grocery store was built in our community. One of the ways to ensure the shopping carts were returned to the store entrance or to the little shopping cart shelters located in the middle of the parking lot was to require the shopper to insert a quarter in order to use the cart. Then, upon returning the cart to the shelter or entrance area, you could retrieve your quarter.

Upon returning my cart one day, a few years ago, a gentleman arrived at the entrance just as I was getting ready to retrieve my quarter. He asked, "Are you finished with this cart?" I replied, "Yes, I am," and I turned the cart around for him. He took hold of the cart and walked into the store. I stood there thinking, "You could have at LEAST offered to give me my quarter back!"

And then it hit me.

How selfish I was over a simple quarter.

I made up my mind then and there that I would turn my self-centered thought into a good thing. I decided the next time someone needed a cart, I would give it to them and not expect the quarter back. It would be a simple blessing. (And, yes, a little ol' quarter CAN be a blessing!)

So the next time I wheeled my cart back to the entrance, I saw a lady heading towards the store. I said, "Do you need a cart?" "Yes," she replied, and she held out her quarter. I grinned and said, "No, no. That's okay. You can keep the quarter". Well, she gave me the strangest look... like she was shocked. I smiled and turned to head back to my car, grinning all the way. I thought, "Oh. That felt real good!"

It is something I've done now for many years. It's likely not added up to all that much dollar wise; however, I just don't think I could measure all the blessing that it has given me, and likely others.

Then just last week I was headed to the entrance to get a cart, and there was one lone cart near the door with the quarter still in it. My first thought was, "Yeah for ME! I've gained a quarter!", but then it dawned on me that someone ELSE was passing on a blessing! There probably wasn't anyone at the door when they were returning their cart, so they just left the cart there to bless someone else. And I guess it was MY time to be blessed in a receiving way rather than a giving way!

Now before you go thinking that I'm being snobbish and arrogant in thinking that I started this whole "quarter blessing" thing, let me assure you I am fully aware that others have been doing this as well, likely much longer than me. But the truth is, it does not take much to do something to bless someone else.

I can tell you that about three or four years ago, it was all I could do some days to even afford the quarter to put in the cart before I could even walk into the grocery store. We were put in a position where absolutely every single penny that passed through our hands had to be analyzed and re-analyzed as to how it was going to get spent! So I am fully aware of the value of that little ol' quarter that goes into the shopping cart slot.

If a simple quarter can provide such a blessing to you, as a giver, and to someone else, as a receiver, won't you consider trying it next time? If there's no one there to pass the cart onto, why don't you just leave the cart there with the quarter in it? You might be blessing someone who doesn't have a quarter handy, or a Mom with her arms full of baby and purse and diaper bag, or an elderly person who needs to quickly get out of the cold wintry breeze.

Or if you're feeling really generous, pop a quarter in the end cart on every row of carts! I hadn't thought of that until just now!

I think I'm gonna need to stock up on some quarters. How about you?

Today's post is for Carolyn P., Luanne, and Danielle..... three people who said they miss my blog. :o)

1 comment:

kkaci said...

I'm not so good for No Frills ... if I shop there in the morning, I'll give my cart to the next person, and say "if you want to, keep passing the quarter on" ... I like to think that occasionally it goes all day without requiring a new quarter! And I've been blessed the other way too -- I showed up once and had NO CHANGE. A very kind gentleman gave me one, and refused my nickles etc. Good post, Michelle! (And I was missing your blog as well.)