Monday, June 6, 2011

Not a Typical Man; He Was "Different"

Hi! :D

Today is a beautiful day! I feel inspired and full of desire to love more, to be more kind... and I feel happier. :)

I recently had an experience at the grocery store. I walked out with what I purchased in one hand, and my back pack in the other (I traveled mostly on foot or by bike while at my mom's). Before leaving the entrance, I struggled to fit the items into my back pack. A man noticed, and kindly introduced himself as Bob, and asked if he could help me. I thanked him, but assured him that it was not necessary... that I could do it. I thought the conversation would end there, but then asked me how I was doing.

My response was brief, and I thought it to be positive;
"Good, thank you; how are you?"
It then became quite apparent that this was not a typical man; he was... "different." Different in ways which are often shunned simply for their uniqueness... but different in very good ways none the less.

I don't recall exactly how he answered back, but after his brief response, I walked off to leave, and he followed me.
"Excuse me,"
he called out to me...
"I just really want to tell you something."
I stopped to listen and moved out of the way of others leaving the store. He resumed,
"you need to be more careful with your words."
I was confused. I said I was good, and expressed interest in him as well. What had I said that I ought not to have said? Sensing my confusion he continued...
"If you merely say you are 'good' how will you expect to ever be any better than 'good?'
He said something else, then continued,
"When people ask me how I am doing, I NEVER say 'good' I say, 'better than good!'"
I had to chuckle inside. Mom was sick at home, but it just felt right to stay and listen to this man. For the next 20 or so minutes, he talked to me with all the love and concern of a caring brother. He gave me tip after tip, insight after insight. He spoke of how words should be used to uplift others, and to make them feel good about them selves. He spoke of the power of words, and of the need that children have to hear praise and positive words about themselves. All of this I already knew, agreed with and believed.

And yet I learned...

Others stared at us strangely as they walked past... especially those who returned carts repeatedly, surprised to see us still there. But I didn't care. I was with a man who genuinely cared about others, and was on a mission to make the world a better place - one person at a time. His act was an act of love, and I was not about to give him the impression that it was not appreciated.

Before we parted, Bob told me how much he loves people and desires to help them as much as he can. He opened a little bag, and pulled out two pieces of paper with hand written notes on them. There were a pile of each in his bag. They read...

"You are important."


"I love you. You are important."

I thanked him, and asked for another copy of these lovely little notes so I could share them with my mother. He was so excited that I valued them and requested more. It felt good to think that something I did brought him some happiness. :)

And then it happened. He looked into my eyes, and in a very appropriate, sincere, and brotherly way - he said to me, "I love you. You are important."

I felt LOVED - to the core.

I thanked him. I knew he meant it. I felt that I loved him, too... as I truly do love everyone... I wanted to tell him that I loved him, too. The same way I love all people. I knew that he must need to hear it as much as anyone else - and he dedicated so much of his life doing this for others. But I was shy about it; instead, I just glanced around at passers by staring at us, and simply said, "thank you."  I felt ashamed and humbled, and SO thankful for his peculiar example. 

Love is a verb. I felt love for this sweet man, but did nothing to express it. Because of this, I did not love Bob as much as I should have and I knew it; all pride was swept from me, and in its place was an abundance of humility and an immense desire to love more.

I pray now, to be more kind, more loving, and to eliminate ALL fear of what others may think. I continue to care less and less about what others think of me, and just when I think I am doing so much better, I realize I can still have A LONG WAY TO GO.

I am reminded of an experience another woman had as she realized that she was not as kind as she supposed she was. I am glad I am not alone, but hope that love and kindness will become such strengths that they become the norm and not the exception. I really thought I was a very loving person. I wish I had told that man that I loved him.

If you have never seen the Civility Experiment, I hope you will watch it and enjoy. And I pray that you may also be so inspired to be a little kinder, a little more loving, a little less worried about what others think... a little more YOU.

Wishing you a very happy and love filled day...
Corine :D

PPS. When I saw this before meeting Bob, I did like it, but I didn't cry. Now, when I see it I cry.

...and I pray to see Bob again, so I can tell him that I love him.

UPDATE: To see a fabulous video about the power of words, click here. I hope you enjoy! :D


  1. Wow, what a wonderful experience! I absolutely LOVED the story. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Corine,
    that is a deeply touching experience that most likely will not happen again in your lifetime. That man truly spoke from his heart to a stranger and how many of us are capable of doing that? WE'd feel weird, or different, or wonder what others were thinking of us, but this man showed strength and! you were blessed!

  3. Corie what an awsesome story... Funny I had a customer that did not have kind words for me and I returned the favor. On Sunday I wrote him back and appologized as I felt there is enough ill will in the world and I should not be adding to it.

    I know as your husband your a very caring person but like you learned we can always be better...

  4. isn't it amazing how kindness can touch our hearts and change our lives??? Loved this one today.

  5. You are awesome! So glad to call you a friend!

  6. What a beautiful message Corine. We all have moments we wished we had handled differently but the fact you now realize it... Bob did his job! :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  7. Thank you all so much for your supportive comments. Bob is a truly awesome person; I have been SO blessed through him, and through each of you as well!
    Corine :D


There is a ripple effect in all that we do; what you do touches me, what I do touches you...

THANK YOU for your comments; you add so much insight and brighten my day! :)