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Stooping Over

A few days ago I was driving down Main Street. There I saw an elderly gentleman, slightly stooped over, leaning to one side. At first I had sympathy, but as I approached him, I realized he was holding the hand of, probably, a grandchild or even a great-grandchild who appeared to be about four years old. He was stooping over to hold the child’s hand while they walked.

So many times we don’t recognize how people have stooped over to help us. It may be giving them a hand. It may be supporting them from behind.

When I was in about the seventh grade, my stepfather really wanted me to get out into the working world. I went into a grocery store in Holyrood, Kansas and applied for a job. I talked with my future boss for a while, and he gave me a job. I would be a sack boy (this was back when we had paper sacks). I took the job at 25¢ an hour. He paid me from the cash register.

Apparently, I did well. I progressed at the store. By the time I moved to the eighth grade, or freshman in high school, my boss taught me how to cut meat. I was able to run the meat department. Eventually I was able to even run and manage the store when my boss and others were not available. Even after high school I would return in the summer to work in the meat market. In college, I got a job at a supermarket cutting meat.

What I did not know until many, many years later was that actually my stepfather offered to pay my salary at the grocery store, and I think he did for a short time—at least until I proved myself.

My stepfather, Andy, reached down and helped me and I never knew it.

I see incredible people in my office. I love to hear their story. Many times it’s them deflecting how well they’ve done by talking about all the people who have reached out to them along the way—people who reached down and gave them a hand.

I know it doesn’t always work out, but I hope that somehow I am reaching out to others to help them along life’s journey. I hope you can as well.


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