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We can all be in this together

Jeanne Sager - Columnist
Posted 5/25/20

There's a game my family's started to play when words like “we're all in this together” blare out of the television. Which brand will it be trying to sell us something with inane …

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We can all be in this together

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There's a game my family's started to play when words like “we're all in this together” blare out of the television. Which brand will it be trying to sell us something with inane platitudes?

It's hard not to be at least a little bit cynical these days.

But for just about every worthless but loud “we're all in this together,” there's a quiet act of kindness being done somewhere by people who don't need to tell everyone they're there for them in order to truly show up.

Take the Peck's Market employee who contacted me recently and said I could share her story only if I kept her anonymous. I'll call her Sam.

Sam and her husband know it's a tough time for countless family, so they pulled out some money and purchased a few supermarket gift cards. Sam works the cash register. She sees people on their best days and their worst days. She planned to slip the cards to people who looked like they needed just a little bit of help.

And that's what she did, until one day when she was nearing the end of her pile, a customer came to her register with an odd array of items. Why was he buying cat food when Sam knew for a fact that his cat had passed away?

She asked him and the story poured out. He knew some neighbors needed some help, so he was doing what he could to help them out.

So she told him about the gift cards. The next thing she knew he wanted to help. Could he buy some gift cards too?

So Sam replenished her pile and began doling them out to people who looked like they could use some help until she got down near the bottom of her pile.

And then the customer re-appeared. He'd talked to some neighbors. Someone else wanted to help replenish her pile of gift cards.

By the time she'd finished imparting this story, I was near tears.

I'm glad there are Sams out there and customers like hers.

I'm grateful for the woman I'll call Bonnie who messaged me out of the blue a few weeks ago and asked if I knew anyone who could really use some help right now, would I pass some money from her to them?

I'm comforted knowing there are people out there who know they're lucky to still be bringing home a paycheck and dedicated to passing it on — be it by paying their cleaning lady not to show up or increasing their restaurant takeout habits to keep a neighborhood joint in business.

I'm reassured seeing neighbors grab groceries for their immuno-compromised neighbors and friends stick by friends.

Because even the cynic in me wants to believe that we really are all in this together.

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