Saturday, February 27, 2016

56. Girl Scout Cookies and Mindfulness

As I wandered my way through the skyway for my mid-afternoon walk, I saw a couple of girl scouts selling cookies just outside one of the stores in the City Center building. They looked like they were about eight or nine years old. They repeated the same line, “Would you like to buy some cookies?” to the few walkers who made eye contact with them.

I didn’t see anyone stop. Maybe everyone was too busy or they didn’t feel like purchasing cookies. I originally gave a polite “No, thank you” but as I walked away, I remembered that I had some cash in my pocket. I turned back and told the two girls, “Well, I changed my mind. I’d like to buy a box.” They smiled.

I didn’t have a particular preference for one, so I told them to give me their favorite. The girls didn’t quite know how to answer that questions, but one of the mom’s that was supervising recommended the lemonades. They were a vanilla sugar cookie with some lemon icing on the bottom.

I walked away feeling infinitely better about my day.

One of my steadfast beliefs about life is that you should always stop by lemonade or cookie stands if you have the money. And if you don’t have the money, don’t treat them like their adults hawking things. They’re kids. They’re out in the awful, awful world trying to make some money and bring a little refreshment into the world. I think they should be commended for that.

Everything about childhood goes too quickly. It seems like it’s corroding even faster ever since I’ve grown up. There are playdates, summer camps, music practices, and other ways to structure time. And then there’s the whole debate over participation trophies. (Ugh.)

It really only cost me four dollars to improve a kids day and help out a troop. Lemonade from a stand maybe costs fifty cents. Yeah, they’re not the healthiest foods, but the difference between life and death is not one box. I think the benefits of buying a box of cookies from a local troop are much better than buying a package of Oreos from a chain grocery store.

Even adults are in their own world most of them time. I usually have my headphones in when I’m walking around the skyway, and I’m not usually paying attention to others. If I don’t see anyone, then they can’t see me. Somedays it’s nice to do that.

Then there are other days when you want to let it all in. Life can be such a grind sometimes. It can be so filled with pressure and stress. Your soul can get sucked into a computer screen while your eyes get pricked with the pins from the glow. It sucks the magic and wonder out of your day.

I’m trying to be mindful of things during this lenten season. I try to stop an activity when my brain starts to get fried and I lose the pleasure I had when I first started that activity. It’s hard to do.

There is a simple way to stop it, though. Stop, slow down, and buy some cookies.

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