Two Mints

I am really not a patient person by nature. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in “that line” where I’m internally fuming over the slowness of the patrons ahead of me, the inefficiency of the checker, berating myself for not choosing another line, all of which look to me to be moving faster.

All the more reason I really loved this story a friend of mine told me. There was a man in the grocery store line (and yes, it was “that line”). The man tried to be patient watching the customer in front of him slowly placed items onto the conveyor belt and asked for several price checks.  As the customer proceeded to painstakingly write a check the man could feel his impatience and irritation rising.

When the man finally made it up to the cash register, the clerk rang him up, bagged his items, and then added two mints into the bag. “Here you go”, he said, handing the bag over. “Sorry for that wait.” The man was stunned. This thoughtful act by the clerk completely changed his mood. The massive frustration he’d felt just minutes ago slipped away and the man left the store in better spirits than when he arrived.

I love this story for two reasons. For one, it demonstrates that patience sometimes has unexpected rewards. Secondly, it illustrates that even a small act has the power to transform someone’s mood. It can be something of little monetary value but it can really make someone’s day.

When I’m feeling particularly cranky, it helps me to get out of my blahs by thinking about how I can give two mints. I also find when I focus on all the mints that I receive, I start noticing them more…and some days I find I have some serious wintergreen going on.

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