“Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.” – 3 John 1:11
If we want to witness goodness we needn’t look far. It often occurs right under our noses. This thought occurred to me this past week when I stopped by our neighborhood Kroger store to pick up a few things. While looking around for a small shopping cart I was approached by a young employee who had been retrieving baskets from the parking lot and seemed to recognize my need. Sir, he asked, are you looking for one of the smaller baskets? Yes, I am, I replied. Just a moment, he said, as he went out of his way to fetch one for me. What an act of kindness, I thought, and so unexpected – above and beyond the call of duty!
Once inside the store I spotted Ronaldo, the produce manager, meticulously fussing over the fruits and vegetables, as he always does, to ensure only the freshest products are in the bins. I got to know Ronaldo because he and my wife have become big buddies. Every time she sees him she goes over and gives him a big hug and sometimes a kiss on the cheek, which makes him beam with delight. In return Ronaldo makes sure Tee gets only the best from the produce section. But that’s not the reason for her affection, she simply likes him because of the kind, warm-hearted, hard-working gentleman he is.
Then came an announcement over the store’s intercom encouraging shoppers to donate a dollar or two toward school supplies for needy children. Standing in line at the checkout a few minutes later I was amazed by the many generous responses toward that most worthy cause.
It just goes to show that if we want to witness goodness we needn’t look far. It often occurs right under our noses, even during a brief, mundane shopping excursion to the neighborhood supermarket. Ninety-nine percent of life, I’ve come to believe – both good and bad – happens under the radar, in our homes, workplaces and schools, neighborhoods and communities. The headline news that so often occupies our attention, though not insignificant or unimportant, is but a small portion of what really matters. What does matter is what we do and what we are able to influence others to do, like those fellow shoppers in Kroger who through their generosity influenced me to give a few extra bucks for the cause as well. So, “Dear friends, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.”