This may not be a perfect world, but there's something about the Christmas spirit that comes over people as they inventory the passing year and look forward to an even better one. The fun of living, regardless of its warts and all, begets an abundance of random acts of kindness.
Lodi is no exception. People want to show their real selves through acts of kindness. I was fortunate to witness three of them, and was the recipient of two of them.
I had dawdled too long in Lowe's, and when I returned to the Jeep it wouldn't start. My "stay too long at the fair" while leaving the lights on had weakened the battery.
People came and went — I felt alone. The young man who had parked next to me noticed my situation. In a friendly demonstration of goodwill, he told me he had jumper cables and wanted to help. When they didn't quite reach, he drove his car around to the other side. He and his friend made the connection that sent the three of us off, happy to share in a random act of kindness.
Several days later, as I made my turn at a friendly cashier, I was asked, "Did you find everything you wanted?" Having re-established the goodwill that is so contagious at this year's end time, I facetiously stated my "complaint." I told him that I had selected the wrong line to check out in. There were no Milky Ways in his "last reminders" collection. I then got carried away with the fun of the glib dissertation of how I had been an imbiber of Milky Ways since the Mars family first marketed them; that they were originally in two pieces, weighted a quarter of a pound and made the Mars family one of the nation's wealthiest — and they only cost a nickel.
I evidently had a larger audience than I realized. Before I reached my parked car, a young couple approached me. The young man with a mischievous, happy grin told me they had located for me my Milky Way, as he pressed into my hand the most precious of candy to eat.
They proved that the Christmas spirit turns strangers into friends.
Duane M. Linstrom Sr.