Mama and I were shopping in Wal-Mart like we do every Sunday. We had gotten our necessities and even let Crawford pick out his Sunday treat. We had done all we needed to do and headed towards the checkout. We were in a line behind several people who had baskets full of stuff so Mama told me to go over to next open register to see if it would be any quicker.
Off I went. As I moseyed that way I ran into a well-dressed man who had just picked up one item that he needed after he left church. We nearly ran over one another but we both said excuse me and headed to the same checkout line. Now he had one thing and the couple in front was almost finished checking out. I waved to Mama to bring our stuff to this checkout since it would be faster.
As she brought the shopping basket over I could hear a loud voice. Not paying attention I started to talk to Mama but her ears were already perked and listening to an older casually dressed man on his cell phone.
At first I thought he was loudly talking to whoever was on the other end, but no, he was yelling at Mama and me. He was saying rude things, like “I guess they teach line breaking in school these days” and “People just don’t have any manners.” He went on and on.
Mama got really upset, especially since the comments were mostly directed at me. Mama tried to let this man know that when we got in line and he was nowhere around.
He then said the couple currently checking out was his family. Mama told him to go on up there but he refused.
As Mama was fussing, she told me to move back to the line from where we had come. The rude man huffed off and left and all the time this occurred he stayed on his cell phone.
We got back in our original line with all the people who had full carts and patiently waiting for our turn. My mama still was fuming. But just like I have always believed, God takes care of us. All of a sudden the register right next to us opened up and the cashier asked us to come to him. I told Mama that we didn’t do anything wrong and now I know God knew it too.
Somebody told me one time that “God don’t like ugly.” I know that is true and I know that the newly opened register was my small miracle that day.
I am still floored of how ugly we were treated by this person. I am an expert shopper and I always have manners in line. If you are behind me with just a few items and I have a lot, I will let you go in front of me. I certainly would never break in a line and we didn’t that Sunday.
The other issue I have of that experience is my 5-year-old child saw how ugly this man was acting. I bet this man never thought that children learn by example. That example was not one that I wanted to teach my son.
When we got in the car Crawford wanted to know why that man was so ugly. I just told him that he was upset with something and decided to take it out on somebody. I then pointed out that we don’t treat people that way. He would get into trouble with me, his daddy or his teachers, if he did.
Just like I am trying to teach Crawford, let’s all have compassion and courtesy for one another. I guess that is what’s wrong in our world today. People are angry and hateful over simple things. That is why we have road rage and arguments that result in violence. People let us be kind to one another. Maybe not today or immediately, but if you do, I think you will get rewards from it.
Caroline Laster is an employee of The Bolivar Commercial.