top of page

You Never Know

The story below is one I found somewhere a while back, but for the life of me I can't recall where. So.....I didn't create this story, but am telling it in my words. I am telling it because I really need to remember it myself.


Once there was a woman in line at a small clothing store. There were three people in front of her and she watched in shock and growing anger as the woman behind the counter was very unfriendly to each of them. She never looked up. She never smiled. She didn't speak except to tell them each how much they owed and she even let out a long sigh as one fumbled for her wallet.

When it was finally the fourth woman's turn she was actually quite angry with the clerk and got angrier as she received exactly the same treatment as the ones before. Halfway through, the customer found herself being just as rude. At the end of the sale, the customer hastily took her bags and turned to stomp out of the store, intent on calling a manager. It was at that moment she heard a soft voice call "Mama." The customer turned back to see the clerk, arms outstretched and smiling with love and compassion as she went to take a little girl in her arms.

The customer stood there staring in awe, tears soon flowing down her cheeks. The clerk's little girl was completely covered in scars; her arms, her chest, her neck.....even her face. The child could hardly walk as she gingerly stepped toward her mother.

A man saw the woman staring as she cried softly and he said, "Her little girl was burned in a terrible fire, the same fire that took Maggie's husband....and that sweet girl's daddy."


We have no idea really what others endure and sometimes the way we are treated has NOTHING to do with us. We can only offer love and compassion in the hopes that we might lighten the loads of others, even just a little bit . . . because we are all connected and a lightened load for someone else means one for you too. As surely as the law of gravity grounds you to the earth, so does the law of attraction make it that what you put out you get back. You can’t see gravity, but you know it is so. Know this too: What you give, you will get.

This clerk did not give love and compassion so she did not get it back, but imagine what she endures with her suffering daughter. If you had been the customer, could you have done it differently . . . given love and compassion and watched as it no doubt came right back to you?

You never really know what others endure. Maybe you can lighten their loads.

In the words of Ghandi: Can you be the change you wish to see in the world?

Jeannette Maloy



bottom of page