In recent months, interaction with cashiers, service employees, and essential workers have been the only source of human contact for many. Our socialization occurs online or over the phone, and most of our work is done in our bedrooms or at kitchen tables.
For seniors especially, loneliness and isolation can be an issue. Those living at home alone in fear of the virus have missed out on interaction with their friends, children, and grandchildren. Without the usual sources of uplifting interaction or entertainment available, an essential trip to the grocery store can be a highlight of one’s day.
Recently, a teenager working at Kroger in Covington, Kentucky, demonstrated how fundamental retail employees can be. 18-year-old Teo Jordan was working as a bagger at the Kroger checkout counter when he noticed an older man who was short on funds. As the cashier asked the man to put items back, Jordan went above and beyond his job description and jumped into action.
Jordan decided to give the senior citizen all the money he had in his pocket.
“I saw that he didn’t have enough money for all the groceries he wanted…so I just thought in my head, I’ll just give him this $35 so he can have all the food that he wants,” Jordan said.
Though Teo Jordan was working at Kroger to save up to buy a car, in that moment his savings were the last thing on his mind. He saw a man in need, and in an act of selflessness, decided to help him.
Jordan’s random act of kindness may have seemed small to onlookers, but his donation could have provided the senior with a few more meals to get him through the week – until his next check came in – and it might have kept him from ever being hungry.
With many spheres of public life all but shut down, essential workers have become main characters in our personal worlds. A kind exchange with a pharmacist, barista, or cashier can change the course of our days. With his compassionate act, Jordan proved that helping those in our communities – even strangers – can have benefits beyond measure. Not only does helping others in these difficult times show the power of the human spirit, it can uplift us too.
Since Jordan’s story hit the local news, he has been receiving tons of praise and attention. However, Jordan doesn’t feel he needs the recognition. The heartwarming feeling of helping someone out was rewarding enough.
“Treat people how you want to be treated,” said Jordan, in conclusion. “Always help out people who need it.”