Lesson From the Check Out Line

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
June 19, 2010

A little part of me thought about going to another checkout line. This one had the shortest queue, there was only one guy in it, but he was in a wheelchair and there seemed to be some complications going on.

Well, I stamped on that little part, and we stepped in behind him. At first, he seemed to be having difficulty getting his groceries onto the conveyor belt. But after a while, I realized that what he was actually doing was separating it into two lots.

Still, getting the stuff up there was no easy task in itself. I offered to help, but he and the checkout lady had it under control. He asked Julie if she would mind putting his empty basket away. Then he reached for his wallet which was in a pouch on one side of his chair. The way he was positioned and the fact he only had one usable arm made this quite a stretch for him, so I helped there.

What must it be like, I wondered, to be so dependent on other people like that?

The checkout operator came around and gave him his change and the items he needed to have to hand. She hung one bag of groceries over a handle at the back of his chair.

I offered to get the other, bigger, bag and he said, “No. But you could do me a favour. Take that lot along to the entrance and give it to Angela.”

I dutifully did that, leaving Julie with our shopping.

Angela, it turned out, was collecting food for people who might otherwise go hungry! I hadn’t even noticed her before.

This guy, despite the limitations that his physical condition imposed on him, had bought more than twice as much shopping as he needed – and given the bigger bag away to help other people!

He didn’t let the fact that he needed help stop him from being a help. He may have been limited physically, but his heart was more than capable of overcoming all that. And it changed my idea of dependence when I realized that the help he had given was more than the help he had received.

So … what’s holding the rest of us back?


Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
 so credit can be given
  1. Anonymous said:

    Love this and is so true we must appreciate what we have and can give so much to others that do not have.


  2. Outstanding! I will be meditating on this for some time to come. Keep ’em coming!


  3. Wow. That gentleman sets a high standard for the rest of us! Thank you for sharing, for expanding the circle of his influence.


  4. mtetar said:

    Amen! Good read and sharing is truly for the Glory of God. Continue to Be A Blessing because you’re Blessed. Mtetar


  5. And by giving the writer of this anecdote the bag to give to Angela, the disabled guy gave away the credit for it, too!


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