Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ashley from "The Shine Project"

We are so excited to feature Ashley from over at
Ashley inspires so many of us to live a more productive life in serving others and making others happy.  Recently she shared a story about her trip to Wally World.  This was no ordinary trip for her though.  1.  Ashley doesn't like Walmart and 2. A mans life was touched, changed, and full of gratefulness all because Ashley chose to love him and care for him.  Here is Ashley's story:

I strongly believe that we are placed where we're needed at certain times, and it's up to us to act on the oppportunities in front of us.

Randomly, I went to Walmart yesterday. I hate Walmart. Asbolutely, positively, hate it. Its always chaotic, and I swear makes me anxious just thinking about it. But, for whatever reason, I found myself waiting in the checkout line.

As I was in line to pay, I had a million things on my mind, and felt really burdened about some current situations. Two people in front of me was an old man checking out. I don't know what his story is, and I really never will, but our paths crossed for a moment. I could tell a little about his economic needs as I saw the items that he was buying, and realized just how much financial need he had as the cashier told him that he hadn't given her enough cash to pay for his bill. The man look flustered, and worried. He started going through several of his bags pulling things out that he figured he could do without. I quickly understood the real reason I was at Wallmart.

I made my way up to the cashier and the man, and asked how much he was short. I knew I had to buy his groceries. I looked at him and said, "I'll take care of it." He and the cashier were shocked. A random voice yelled out, "Wow! There's still good people in this world!" As I slid my card, I felt all the burdens of my day be lifted off of my shoulders. Things were put into perspective, and my stress was relieved as I put someone else's needs before mine.

There are a lot of things about this experience that I keep thinking about. The first is how we have so many opportunities to serve people around us every single day. A lot of times, we're too busy to look for them. I've also been thinking about how no one else was able to help him. What if I hadn't been there? I think that many times, people figure someone else will step up. But what if that person needs to be you?

As I was paying for my own groceries, the cashier said, "I honestly can't believe you did that. That was so sweet of you." The woman behind me said the same thing. I replied, "It's just money. When we're blessed with even just a little, I believe the right thing to do is to help others."

Serving others is not about money. Me paying for his groceries was not what it was about. It was about him feeling cared about, and perhaps even influencing the people around me to do something nice for someone else that day. It's about always being kind, so people aren't so shocked that "there are still good people in the world."

"It was about him feeling cared about..."

As I finished reading Ashley's story it made me wonder if I would have done that for the man.  Being a newlywed, having a budget, not having much money to just throw out there, "would I have done what Ashley did?"  As I pondered this I found my answer to be a good one.  Yes. Yes I would.  If my budget didn't allow me to do so I would put it on my credit.  I would step up to the plate and make that man feel cared about.  I would be the one to help him feed his family or get that special little treat for his grandson he so badly wanted to get.  I really love this much. 

I hope that we all can be that person who stands out and steps up.  Be that one person to bring a smile to all those around us.  Prove to others that we all can be good people.  Take time in your lives to

Thank you Ashley for letting us share your story on our little blog!!

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