Pass it forward


“Pass it forward” recently has become a very meaningful and healing phrase in my life.

In this past year I have struggled with cellulitus, shingles, female issues and general ill health. Much of my focus had to be on my health problems. (Another bout with my health kept me from spending Thanksgiving with my family, so my spirits were pretty low when this happened.)

Recently, I had an experience which made me aware of how my inner peace and sense of well being could overshadow those physical challenges.

I had to make an “emergency trip” to Walmart at 9 p.m. because I had forgotten to buy a present I needed early the next day. When I got in line with my purchase, I saw an older gentleman in front of me, who had only had one banana. A lady farther down in the checkout line next to us also noticed him and she invited him to get in front of her. Then the same woman began to have conversations with all the people in the line around her. There was an atmosphere of warmth, joy, friendliness, fun and a sense of wonderful sharing. Before I knew it I had made it to the cash register in my line and was paying for my purchase.

As I went to my car I felt lighter, happier and more hopeful. I was still smiling when I saw her exit Walmart. I felt I should tell her what a positive impact her presence had made on me. I drove over to her SUV, where she was loading her purchases in the back of the vehicle, and told her how witnessing her kindness and positive energy had done so much for me and lifted my spirits after a year of health issues.

She smiled in response, and said what I needed was a hug, and then she came over to my car and gave me, a total stranger, a big hug.

I thanked her again and her final words to me were, “Pass it forward.”

Even though she may never know the total impact she had on me that night, I plan on passing it forward every way I can. I also became aware that miracles can happen anywhere, even in the checkout line at Walmart.

Donna Campbell

West Point