Spreading Good Karma: It’s Werth it.

By Christina Staff,
Healthy Planet Staff Writer

Good karma: the result of good deeds done to others. A seemingly common encounter at the check-out counter created a core memory within me I didn’t initially anticipate, yet it continues to surface nearly a year later. These learning lessons elevate ordinary moments into the extraordinary range.

I was having one of those days; you know the ones. You drop everything; you spill your morning coffee; the sink wouldn’t drain; you trip over a painted line on the sidewalk. Whatever the scenario, you understand what I’m saying; we all have those days when things keep piling on and patience is running thin.

On this particular day a year or so ago, I must have been a glutton for additional punishment and found myself at the local Walmart for a rather large shopping excursion. As Walmarts typically go, it was crowded. Our household needed all the things, meaning a full-blown hike from corner to corner of the store. Over an hour and a heaping shopping cart later, it was time to pay the piper and check out.

Regardless of how you feel about self-checkout, it was the lesser of two evils. Things were going along fine… beep, bag the item, beep, bag the item. It was at the very end, and 187 bagged items later (give or take), when the checkout machine seemingly froze. With perturbed panic, I nearly froze with it. The thought of unbagging and again scanning those 187 items made me almost sick. Maybe I didn’t really need any of those things? What if I just left the cart there and slipped away? Admittedly, those thoughts crossed my mind.

A friendly employee walked up to assist me. This woman, in my eyes, was the epitome of a sweet, cookie-baking grandmother. She had a kind and endearing charisma, and within an instant, she had the machine back on track. My relief probably shone through, but I can assure you my facial expressions up to that point hadn’t matched hers; they may have come off a bit less approachable. She smiled then quietly said, “It seems like you may be having a tough day…” With that, she reached into her pocket and handed me a Werther’s Original candy. “I hope this makes it a little sweeter.”

Talk about feeling like a giant heel for having a poor attitude. This woman works at Walmart, a place no one likes to go. She maintains the machines that do nothing but wreak havoc on the checkout process while undoubtedly hearing nothing but complaints from technologically-challenged shoppers like myself. Yet, there she was, like a Fairy Godmother of the Walmart, who could instantly wave a wand and use her magic of goodness to solve problems – both in technology and our (my) attitude. I told everyone for days about this wondrous woman at Walmart and how she taught me a lesson in not taking life so seriously. Things happen – roll with it.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when my mom and I stopped at that same Walmart. There she was – the Fairy Godmother! I pointed her out to my mother, again retelling the tale. And, wouldn’t you know as we completed our self-checkout, I looked up and magically, there she was. She handed us both a Werther’s Original and told us to have a sweet day. When she walked away, I looked over at my mom smugly, “Told you so.”

I don’t know this woman’s name, nor do I know how long she’s been sweetening the days of strangers at Walmart. Her good karma must be endless! Can you imagine how much better this world may be if more people made a point to brighten your day just because there was opportunity? It’s a practice definitely “werth” trying.