Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Little Old Man and the Big Bad World

I made it through my first year of college and I can't believe it! What a truly crazy thing to think about. Not to mention the fact that many of my friends are gone to serve missions for the Lord and several of my girlfriends have gotten married. That's so weird!

Anyway, I went to the store recently and had an interesting experience with one of the employees. I was there with my mom and my brother Jacob. We were attempting to check out and had a chosen our little cashier stall thingy (I really don't know how to say that) and proceeded to complete our sales transaction. The man behind the cash register was this little old man that reminded me a lot of my crippled old grandpa. This little man and my mother went through this long charade while trying to get my mothers debit cards to work. She would use the little key pad and get it working while the flustered little man on the other end was pounding on his keys on the other side. Needless to say the transaction took a lot longer than it should have and in the end he left flustered and upset as did we.

My first thought even before the transaction became slightly embarrassing and drawn out was that the little gray man on the other side should not be working at the store. I am almost positive that he did not want to be there working in his tired age with his hearing aid dangling out of his ear. So why was he there? The simple answer is that he cannot afford to stay home. He has no money to retire. Now whether or not this was his own fault or a series sadly placed events I didn't know. All I knew is that he did not belong there. This was the time in his life when he should have been at home enjoying his time with his little white wife and little rambunctious grandchildren, not working at Walmart.

It left me feeling like Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice when she said "the more I see of the world, the more I am dissatisfied with it." A sad but true quote. Now don't get me wrong. I find no fault with rolling hills and the beauty of tall mountains covered in trees. I find no unhappiness in small acts of kindness and genuine love. What I find sad is that a little old man must work at Walmart at a time in his life when his hearing is barely passable and his shriveled body can barely hold its own weight. I find the wars hard to swallow and decisions to cut pay to our soldiers less than a criminal offense. But we must take heart.

President Monson said "the future is as bright as our faith." We must move forward and be cheerful for the Lord lives and we have work to do! I fully intend to make what difference I can for people such as the little old man and other such employees as well as anyone with whom I come into contact with. My thought is that if I smile and make my transaction with anyone, specifically little old employees or even battered young ones, as uplifting and love-filled as I possibly can maybe I can give them hope that maybe life is not as bleak as it may seem at times. I fully intend to change the world one transaction at a time. Would you care to join me?

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