The Spirit of Generosity Gives Back

I simply must share this story. I had to wait to collect my emotions and hold them in check so I am not raining on the keyboard. I had a beautiful moment yesterday when strangers came together in the spirit of generosity and good will.

I was at the ready to mail off my package of elfish delights for Auntie Elf Mckenna and Uncle Elf Sam. The young woman in front of me was having some difficulty. She had prepackaged her items in a flat rate box without realizing it and had the hopes that the postage would be less expensive if it was shipped by weight. so juggling packaging she became noticeably more agitated and apologized for being so flustered it just wasn’t what she had expected. She was moving she tried to explain…I couldn’t help but listen.  Being the next in line, she apologetically glanced my way. I smiled letting her know I wasn’t in any hurry and in that moment I really saw her. I saw the sorrow in her eyes, the troubled countenance and I knew I had to help her. The manager came out to move the line along and I stepped up to the counter. I handed him the address to send the box to, we exchanged pleasantries – my mind elsewhere. I was wondering how to intervene when the young woman started to undo all the packaging.

“Please don’t!” I exclaimed, startling them. “I’m sorry, it’s just that I would be glad to pay for that package as it is.” Her expression of shocked disbelief is still etched in my memory. Are we so hardened to a polite society?

“You don’t have to.” She stated.

“I know” I responded, “but I want to. I know what it is like to move and make things happen on a budget. I would love to help you get that package to where it needs to go.” 

She nodded quietly. “Thank you.”

I tried to make her more comfortable by sharing that we had just moved from Utah. It was a hard move. She opened up and told me her story. Her husband was a marine and was being deployed for 10 months. She had a young son and wanted to be by both sets of grandparents to help get through this difficult time. I commented that I was glad she had family to make it easier.

My attention was drawn back to my own transaction. The good-natured man helping me laughed and asked if I wanted this package to go to “Auntie Elf McKenna”. I blushed embarrassed by my childishness and said he didn’t have to put that. He said he would love to type that into the system and send it as is. I said “That would be so fun!” He printed out the receipt and handing it to me said:

“Because of your generosity, I would love to comp both packages for you today.”

It was my turned to be flustered. I went to sign the credit card slip and saw that he had zeroed out the postage. I nodded speechless for a moment then looked up into his kind face full of the spirit of Generosity that gave back two fold. Two lives were touched by the spirit of generosity that gave back to us. I said “What goes around comes around, I guess. I just didn’t expect it to come around so fast!” I feel silly now having said something so trite. I thanked him and gave this young woman a spontaneous hug and said “Have a Merry Christmas! You can do this.” I left quickly, humbled at being the sudden recipient of such generosity. I sat in my car as tears streamed down my face that strangers came together in a post and package and lives were touch by the true meaning of Christmas.

I thought about that young woman. We often thank our service men for their service to our country. Today, I would like to thank the young wives and mothers they leave behind to raise their children and keep their homes and continue on without them.  Your courage is just as admirable. Your sacrifice accepted. Merry Christmas to you. May God grant you peace.


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