The other night I was walking into a grocery store, a young fellow asked me for directions to a local restaurant. I managed to come up with some intelligible ones for him.
He was really happy to get the info. It occurred to be that in this world of GPS, text messages, and omnipresent cellphones that asking someone for directions is a little unusual.
I found it nice to have human contact on a mission where I could easily have had little or no human interaction.
I was feeling good as I walked into the grocery store and someone commented on how nice it was to see a LL Bean sweat shirt as far south as Roanoke, Va. It was a young guy stocking the shelves. We had a little conversation over how much Freeport, Maine had changed since my first visit in 1967 when LL Beans still had a potbellied stove in the tiny store.
Once again, a conversation where I had not counted on one keep the good feelings going.
As I got up to the automated checkout, it occurred to me that I had forgotten my grocery identity card. I was going to skip the discount, but the young girl watching over the checkout managed to force feed my telephone number into the computers to save me the forty cents that I was due as a loyal Kroger shopper.
She could easily have been preoccupied with a cell phone call, but she took the time to do her job pleasantly which left me feeling really positive about what was a routine shopping trip.
I had actually ended up talking to three members of the millennium generation (or pretty close to it) without having any text messaging involved. No one had taken a cell phone video and posted it online. There had been no emails. We had talked.
I had ended up with a totally different perspective than I would have if each of the people had been on their cellphones, playing a game, or too busy listening to an iPod to make contact.
Isn't it amazing what human contact can do for us. It can snowball and renew our faith in the next generation.
When I saw this mornings' Dilbert cartoon, my experiences the night before made me smile. Just maybe this generation will turn out alright after all.
That experience was a great prelude to a nice trip from Virginia through North Carolina. Even better than the trip was finding tomato blooms when we got home. That might give me a shot at winning the great tomato race. I have to let those positive feelings roll.