What is the Sequoia project?

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Wausau, Wisconsin, United States
The Sequoia tree is one of the largest in the world. The seed is the size of a grain of wheat. One kind act will often seem unimportant but has ripple effects across humanity.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Paid for a strangers groceries.

While getting a few items at the grocery store today I came across a lady named Grace (not real name). She was probably 60 to 70 years old. I noticed her because she was taking items back out of her bag. She did not have enough to cover the expense. The day had already treated her rough. It was raining cats and dogs (not really) and she was soaked. She must have walked to the store to have been so wet.

The items the clerk was putting into a basket, to be returned to the shelves, were vegetables and noodles. She had a look of confusion about what items to put back. She looked like she was going to cry. With how wet she was I doubted anyone would have even noticed. I did though. I asked the clerk to simply put the items on my purchases. Both looked at me like they didn’t understand. With his own confusion the clerk started to explain that certain items had to be rescanned and subtracted first. I told him to put all of her items on my bill. The total expense of Graces tab was $17.

As I walked out to the car Grace was standing under the entrance of the store, preparing herself for the walk home. She looked at me cautiously but then recognized me as the person who had just helped her. I asked if she was alright and if she needed a ride any where. She replied “no…I’ll be just fine and thank you. That was the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me.” With that we each walked back into our separate lives.

I wish I could say that the money just spent did not matter. We live paycheck to paycheck and things get pretty tight in between. I knew it was the right thing to do though.

Later that day we discovered $20 that we didn’t remember putting away in our jar. There always seems to be good karma that comes out of doing a kind act. You never see it at the time, but it comes back. Keep your eye out for Grace the next time your in a store. She lives in every town and city. You will sleep better tonight.

The Sequoia Project