Am I totally out of touch?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    OK: today I went to WalMart. When I went to check out there was a woman in line in front of me who obviously had some kind of physical disability. Very spastic (in the clinical sense) movements. She was having a terrible time getting her stuff put up on the belt to be checked. After watching her for a couple of minutes, I asked her if she needed help. She said, no, she could manage - which was fine. I understand people wanting to be independent. When she was done and I went to pay, the kid who was the checker complimented me and said that he'd worked there for over a year and that lady comes in often but I was the first person he'd ever heard ask her if she needed help.
    So are people just becoming selfish jerks or was I sticking my nose in where it didn't belong and I should have just kept quite and not offered help?
  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    You did the right thing. Unfortunately some people react poorly to the offers of assistance. It's made people gun shy. Plus people are so self absorbed they don't bother to help people anymore. It's sad!
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  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You did the right thing. Not only in offering to help I think, but in "seeing" the woman as a person.

    We are all so lonely these days, everyone on cell phones or in a focused rush to be somewhere else.

    I like that you did that, muttmeister. Even if the woman had been offended, offering to help would have been the right thing to do.

  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Had a kind of similar experience last Mon. I went specifically to Walmart because they have the sparkling water I drink $2 cheaper than Whole Foods. All I had was four 12-packs in my cart so I went to the 20 or less line. There were two open and about 7 or 8 in each line. I picked one and it became clear that I chose poorly...My line was not moving at all and the other line was chugging along.

    As I looked around the folks in front of me, I saw an elderly woman (probably late 70's or so) in a bright red coat looking very embarrassed and upset. About that time a woman came in behind me with two heads of cabbage. "Is our line moving?", she asked. "No, I think there is a price check or something but it hasn't moved since I got here!"

    As she and I continued to stand there, it became evident that the woman was actually having the checker individually take things off her ticket. The 7 folks in front of me, all men oddly enough, began jumping ship to the line next to us. Once one of them made the move, the remainder jumped ship!

    So I moved up and realized the elderly woman was in fact having a hard time paying for everything that she had put in the cart. For some reason it tugged at me and I told the cashier, "Ring up what she has the money for and then add the remainder on my tab." The customer looked over at me and gushed thank you so much.

    When all was said and done (she had a $50 Walmart gift card), the addition to my tab was $14 and the lady behind offered to pay half (but it was a small amount so I declined). When the little lady had all her things, she turned and said, "Thank you so much. I am having surgery tomorrow and I was getting food to make sure I had things when I come home this weekend."

    You never know, could be me one day in that line alone...

    I think Mutt that there are still folks out there who care and are willing to extend to others but perhaps there aren't as many? Seems folks make a big deal these days when you help others. It kinda takes the lesson of empathy out of the deed. It's' not for how it makes us feel or the kudos we receive, it's about how we affect others. It's a lesson I started with my children when they were toddlers...good deeds for rewards now or in the big hereafter are empty -- it's about how our words and actions impact the world around us.

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  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    LDM, that is so kind. Amazing.

    mutt, I never noticed too much what others do, but I always try to help. Having disabilities myself (that you can't see) I have always been very conscious of challenged folks and always offer to help. Sometimes it's "yes", sometimes "No, thank you." Nobody has ever been mean to me. I also hold doors for everyone who may be walking slower due to age or being in wheelchairs, etc.
    When I lived in the Chicago suburbs, a huge population area, people were less apt to be kind and more apt to be exasperated if their pace was slowed by somebody for any reason. Where I live now, there is a bit more tolerance and a more helpful attitude.

    A bit ;)

    My son Sonic is one of those young people who runs to offer help to anyone who is in trouble either holding a heavy bag or needing help getting into a car...he is the one with autistic spectrum, the one everyone calls "an angel." I wonder if those with their own challenges are actually kinder or just more mindful of others in need. Sonic is an amazing young man. I bring him up because I think many young people are less apt to offer help to others.
  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    @muttmeister , How very special that you offered to help. I think sometime other people see that someone may need some help but they don't reach out for many different reasons I'm sure. Some are trul just self absorbed and cannot be put out while others may want to but just don't have the courage to speak up. Bless you for being someone who is willing to help and to speak up.

    @LittleDudesMom , You are also one of those special people who are willing to help. What a blessing you were to that woman.

    I am very empathetic to other people. One day I was at the grocery store and there was a woman with her daughter, the daughter was a teenager and was very special needs, she had some physical attributes of looking crippled in her arms/hands and she would utter some kind of noise. I was coming down and aisle towards them and as I always do when I see someone like this girl I looked directly into her eyes, smiled at her and said hello. She got so excited and was smiling back at me. The mother stopped me and said "Thank You for acknowledging my daughter, you made her very happy" I chatted with the mom for a moment and she told me that most people just point and stare. She told me her daughter has a severe form of cerebral palsy. I asked the woman if I could hug her daughter and she got tears in her eyes and said yes, she would really like that. While this was going on other shoppers walked by doing exactly what the mom had said, pointing and staring.

    It only takes a moment to show you care.
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  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    People can be so kind. I took my girls to Steak and Shake when they were in elementary school not realizing that they didn't take credit cards at that time. When it came time to pay the bill, I realized they didn't take credit cards and I didn't have enough cash (this was before debit cards). I sat there counting and recounting the money I did have as if it would magically multiply.

    I didn't know what to do. In retrospect I should have traded them difficult child for the food. Just kidding!

    Out of nowhere, a man and a woman (who were not together) came up to my table and handed me cash. I guess they saw me frantically recounting the cash and realized what happened. I was so embarrassed to take the money and told them I would run to the ATM and get the cash and come back to pay them back.

    When I got back, the man was gone but the woman was still there so I paid her back.

    I will never forget their kindness and will do the same for someone if I see them in that position. Sharon, I think what you did was wonderful. Mutt, I think that you did the right thing.

  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you helped her.
    Yes, a lot of people are jerks.
    It's so hard to be out there in public and just keep breathing.
    I participated in an art event a few yrs ago. One of the artists is handicapped and has MS. Every now and then, out of nowhere, she just freezes. Well, we were at another booth, buying something (soap or popcorn, can't recall). She had her money in her hand and had an episode. Her head was tilted at a downward angle, as though she were looking at the money, and the money was in her grasp, trembling all over. She couldn't reach the countertop, and every time she did, she'd tremble and her hand would slide off.
    The vendor was very impatient and I said, "She's okay. Just give her a minute."
    The vendor sighed and just grabbed the money.
    I mean, the artist has a cane, and she's clearly trembling, you'd think the vendor would notice.
    I was going to buy something and changed my mind. :(