I had stopped at the US Bank branch in the Tops Store at the South Mall to put checks in my account. The branch had not opened yet. I decided to use the US Cash Machine. I had failed to add up the total amount on the checks. I had no pen to help me get that total.
I did something I had never done before. There was a young African American woman sitting at one of the tables provided for folks to sit, eat, and read, and talk while shopping at Tops. I asked her if she had a pin, always thinking she might think I was trying to pull some sort of scam. She looked up, smiled, quickly checked her shirt and pants pockets, and, smiling sincerely, told me she did not have a pen.
I was pleased. She had taken time to help me.
Sitting at another table was a young couple, a bearded white male in his twenties, a white female with blonde hair. I spontaneously approached them and asked if either one of them had a pen, all the time thinking they would just ignore this burly, grey haired, older black man. They didn't. Neither had a pen, but the young man quickly asked the young woman to use her calculator to help me.
SHE DID THAT. No frowns, no hesitation, she just cheerfully and quickly responded to my request.
I left Tops this bright Friday morning, realizing that the world I assumed existed, with these three wonderful young people, did not exist at all. I learned a lot. I am very grateful to them.