“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

C.S. Lewis, author

I like to eat.

Some times I like to eat a lot.

That’s why I look forward to grocery shopping.

And it was while waiting in the checkout line with my food in the basket that I met a man who would change my life.

He was a well dressed elderly gentleman, clean, and well-groomed. But his attitude was in need of an adjustment.

“I hate coming to the grocery store,” he told the cashier.

He was loud enough to get the attention of the other customers and staff several isles in each direction.

“I hate coming to the grocery store,” he repeated even louder.

The cashier stopped working for a moment to make eye contact with the man. Then, choosing not to respond, began ringing up his groceries.

The old man continued, “I go to the bank once a week and the grocery once a week and I hate it.”

I hoped his attitude wasn’t contagious because I certainly didn’t want to catch whatever disease he had. He paid for his groceries, shoving money at the cashier, then he took off with his basket like a bull charging the matador, leaving the rest of us shaking our heads in disbelief.

I was already in the habit of being nice to people, especially the folks working in checkout lines. But this guy made me want to try a little harder. At the end of the work day, I want the cashier at the store and the teller at the bank to be glad they waited on me.

True, I don’t know anything about that old man in the checkout line except the way I saw him act.

But as a wise man pointed out, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Maybe the rest of his life was a mess but there are counselors and ministers standing by to help him sort out his issues. Cashiers are there to take your money, not your bad karma.

So the old man got me thinking. I had to set some new goals. Not far from the grocery store, people were lining up at a food pantry. They didn’t have the privilege of cruising up and down the isles, choosing what would be for breakfast and dinner.

GOAL NUMBER ONE: Already in the habit of counting my blessings, I would count them more often and with greater enthusiasm.

GOAL NUMBER TWO: I like it when people are kind to me. So I’m going to double my efforts to be kind, even to that old man in the checkout line.

“If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you.

If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you.

Whatever good things we build end up building us.”

Jim Rohn, author

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