I was standing in line at the local fruit market. Placed 4 peaches on the conveyor and heard a pleasant male voice behind me say. “That’s a healthy choice.”
I paused for a moment thinking, should I respond and what should I say.
I turned around and saw a very tall and slender young black man standing there. I did a double take at his height and a memory quickly passed through my mind.
I remembered years ago, when I met a very tall and slender young white man. Someone in our group told me to ask him if he played basketball. I said hi to the young man and he said “I don’t play basketball and if anyone else asks me I may punch him in the mouth.”
Believe it or not, the thought had flashed through my head to ask the young man standing behind me if he played basketball but that memory crossed it off just as fast as it came.
So I looked again at the young man and said “man…. how tall ARE you?” He grinned and replied “six foot eight”.
I said “wow” and continued with. “You know when I was about your age I remember standing up in church and looking around to find I was frequently the tallest guy standing.” “Now, standing next to you I am just another short guy. Every generation gets taller and taller.”
The young man still smiling said “yes it appears that way.”
I paid the clerk the $2 for the 4 peaches and told her to have a nice day. I turned to the young man gave him a gentle punch on the arm and said. “And you, you continue to be and walk tall.”
He chuckled and said thank you.
This man and I will most likely never cross paths again, but his pleasant smile and kind demeanor made me feel a little better in that moment. I hope I did the same for him.
It is after all, these small non-consequential interchanges between humans, which make this world a better place to live in.
Say something nice to a stranger today.