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“Society is in moral decay.” “An atmosphere of incivility.” “Kindness is a thing of the past.”

These are some of the malevolent phrases that, to some, are the signature of our times. 

But this morning an event occurred that shifted the scales of hopeless and hopeful. I was at a local pharmacy waiting to get a shingles shot. I had been waiting months for an opening to get my shot. When I discovered there was a large co-pay for the Medicare-covered shot, I reached for my credit card holder. It wasn’t where I carried it. I had forgotten to bring it.

The clerk advised me I couldn’t get the long-awaited shot, and had to leave and make another appointment. “More months of waiting for this hard-to-get serum,” I thought.

Then, a voice from behind me — I’m in a wheelchair — called out, “No, he doesn’t. How much is it?” Then, she swiped her credit card. This stranger paid my bill. We introduced ourselves. This little bit of kindness kindled my hope for us all. I hope she feels the same.

Dick Weinman

Corvallis (Jan. 2)

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