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Some people say there is no “try” and there is only do or do not. It may be a quote from Star Wars, but I am unsure. Here is a short story explaining why we try.

Before getting into the story, it should be explained that trying is the only thing we can do. There really is something to the old adage, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

There is a difference in “trying to come over to see you,” and trying to affect a change in the world. While “trying to come over to see you” leaves room for not doing a thing, trying to change the world is a real effort.

We try, because it matters. We try, because there is a chance of a thing.

Salad Dressing and Croutons

This past week, as Michelle and I wondered what we might make for dinner, we discovered we needed salad dressing and croutons. We would have salad for dinner, if we only had dressing and croutons.

One of the main reasons we cook in our house is that we do not want to go out and pick something up. But this night, we would have to do both.

There is a grocery store minutes from my home, so off I went to get what we needed. I was tired, there were some things on my mind, and a trip to the grocery store was the last thing I thought I would be taking.

Waiting In Line

Sometimes I use the self checkout. I prefer to wait for a human to help.

It is easy to use the wait for worry. It is easy to use the wait for going over all that needs to be done.

On my better days, I simply look around and send love to those I observe. This was a better day and I noticed a young woman next to me who seemed to be tired.

She was wearing the coolest Llama Christmas outfit I had ever seen (I have only seen that one). Through my mask, I said, “I love your outfit.”

And this is why we try.

The Response

She immediately went into how she worked at an assisted living facility. She spoke on how her coworkers wanted to make it fun for the residents.

We talked for a few minutes about the pandemic and how it affected people we knew. How the world was changing and how that maybe there was hope on the horizon.

About the time the cashier in my line was ready, I told the young woman to have a good night. She looked down and did not respond immediately.

I figured it was fatigue and made my way to the front of the register. Just as I was about to leave the conversation in my head, she spoke.

“Thank you.”

What Is Real

It sounded more liked a “thank you” for noticing, or a “thank you” for talking. It sounded like a “thank you” for the chance to speak.

Maybe too often, I get in my head and imagine grand things. Sometimes I get in that same head and fret over things I cannot control.

None of those things are real. At least not in the immediate.

I believe thoughts become things, but in the short term, it helps to speak to others in a grocery store. To listen as they tell you about their day.

What is real is that the world is tired and the world is suspicious of everyone that disagrees with them. Also what is real, is the chance to combat that fatigue and suspicion with a simple kindness.

Why We Try Explained

We try because it matters. It matters to those around us and it matters to us also. We try because any effort for peace, comfort, love, or consolation becomes possibility in the world.

You and I are not tasked with solving world hunger. Racial tension and government controls are not required reading, and converting everyone to your religion is not necessary.

We try because one act of kindness will change the world. And if you must know why I try, it is because if the world is better for another, it is better for me.

Perhaps that is selfish. I suspect it is not.

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Author: Kevin Thompson

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