The Kind Couple

“I recognize you two!”

On Saturday, we went to the local farmer’s market. It’s been part of our weekly routine for the last eight years, so we’ve befriended members of the customer service term and many vendors.

During the pandemic, the market offered curbside pickup, which we took advantage of. During the week, I would email the team our shopping list. Then, on Saturday morning, we gave our name any they loaded bags of produce into the back seat.

We thanked them profusely each week. I had a mysterious ailment and suspected immune dysfunction, and my boyfriend had nearly died from the original COVID. Easy access to fresh produce was a gift that we did not take for granted. I wanted to do more to thank them, so I sewed up cotton masks using produce-themed fabrics.

Ineffective? Likely. A thoughtful gesture? I hoped so. I wished I could do more.

On our most recent trip to the market, a woman I didn’t know held our her hands towards. “I recognize you two! Thank you. You gave me the strength to keep going.”

During the pandemic curbside pickup, many of the patrons had been mean and nasty to the staff. Of the dozens of people who passed through each week, we had been the only regulars who smiled, said “thank you,” and didn’t find something to complain about.

The one week we had been out-of-town, they were brokenhearted that they didn’t have our kindness to buoy them through the morning. Three years later, she remembered that disappointment, only because the kindness radiated so brightly.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Leo Buscaglia

This has been my all-time favorite quote since stumbling across it in my early teens. I’ve tried to live my life under the assumption that my every word and action may be remembered, for better or for worse. I aim to leave people better than I found them.

During the pandemic, I smiled and said “thank you” because I recognized the efforts of the market staff to run from booth to booth, run car-side payments, and load up a stranger’s vehicle. It was a labor of love on their part. It was not something they owed me, but a kind gesture toward the community.

Three years later, that woman recognized our faces. And this encounter is not the first of its kind. We had become a legend among the staff that summer: The Kind Couple.

Too often we underestimate the power of the smallest act of caring. As this interaction reminded me, they really do have the potential to make a world of difference.

18 thoughts on “The Kind Couple

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  1. Thank you for sharing, Erin. I love this…and I’m grateful to you for reminding me of my love of Leo Buscaglia…in another one of your posts. Such a powerful example you’ve shared. Love, love, love it. xo to you! 💕

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  2. My goodness this story gives me the wonderful chill of a story worth lingering over. Wow – so inspirational. We do underestimate the value of being kind. Love that it’s something that you and your boyfriend seem to do so naturally – and that someone took the time to tell you how much it matters! Beautiful!

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  3. We never know how much our normal acts of kindness dress can stand out in stark co tract to other’s behavior. So sorry the vendors and staff had to endure that kind of behavior that yours should stand out in such contrast.

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    1. You’re absolutely right, Tamara! I had not clue that mere kindness would be so impactful. Hearing how unkind and demanding the other patrons were broke my heart.. I don’t understand how people think that type of behavior is okay.

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      1. I was observing that through the pandemic, and I feel that people whose anxiety levels crested above what they were able to handle drove them to vent out to others, because of a lack of coping skills. They’re probably the last ones to look at themselves and see their reactions as an indicator to do some inner work.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I noticed the same. The pandemic really sent a lot of people over the edge. Without self-awareness, all the internal chaos was unleashed on others. I saw it so much and it really crushed me.

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      3. I was experiencing the same emotions when I was observing those things too, and even wrote posts to try to help people through those emotions they may have been struggling with, but the people who need to see it aren’t likely to, as they’re consuming news and articles that only feed their anxieties.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Deb, it really does bring rewards to the giver and receiver! The positive interaction helped the market staff get through the day, expressing gratitude made us feel good about accepting their act of service and now, years later, it’s a still a beautiful memory of human kindness for all involved.

      Liked by 1 person

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