Walmart cashier's inspirational response reaches people everywhere

A cashier at a Walmart in Clarksdale, Mississippi couldn't have possibly known her kindness to one man could reach so many people. 

In a post shared by almost 25,000 and carrying more than 1,600 comments as of Tuesday morning, Spring Herbison Bowlin tells of waiting in line behind a man who was embarrassed when he had to pay for his groceries in change. 

"He miscounts and starts to get flustered. Gives me a muttered, 'I'm so sorry.' His hands and voice are shaking," Bowlin writes. 

She said that her first instinct was to step up and pay his bill for him, but she thought of how her father or her husband or brother would have felt in that situation. 

"He knew that what was happening with his transaction was taking longer than what people expect. He wasn’t being apologetic because he was doing something out of the ordinary, just that it was taking so long," Bowlin said. 

It's a situation a lot of people can understand — there's pressure to hurry when you're in a line ahead of people. Bowlin said as the man became more worried, the cashier took his hands in hers and dumped the change on the counter. 

"This is not a problem, honey. We will do this together," the cashier said, according to Bowlin's post.

"When she reached out and got his hand, that almost put him at ease immediately. That was her way of being compassionate," Bowlin said. "It was a human touch, it was her smile, her kindness and the softness in her voice, that’s what touched me. It was so easy for her to be that way and it meant so much to that gentleman."

Bowlin said the man continued to apologize to both her and the cashier as they counted out the change together. She had her phone open checking emails and she snapped a quick photo of the moment because she wanted to remember it. 

After the man had paid for his groceries and left, Bowlin thanked the cashier for being so patient with him. 

"She shakes her head and replies, 'You shouldn't have to thank me, baby. What's wrong with our world is we've forgotten how to love one another,'" Bowlin's post states.

By phone, Bowlin described that scene a little further.

"It was almost embarrassing to her that I had even mentioned it, which means that really is how she is," she said. 

When she got back to work, Bowlin called the cashier's manager and left a message for him. When he called her back, she told him the story.

"I said, 'I know so many people call you to complain or to share something bad that happened,'" she said. "I told him the story and I told him her name and he said, 'That’s just like her.'”

Because she works in healthcare, Bowlin is sensitive to releasing information about people, so she said she can't give out the cashier's name without permission from Walmart, but that she has gotten hundreds of requests to tell her story. She's also gotten messages from all over the place. 

"I just put it on my page and almost immediately people I didn’t know started sending me private messages saying, 'That’s what this world needs,' and 'Thank you for sharing,'" she said. "People are so starved to read something good and positive."

It could also be said that people are starved to know that sort of simple kindness exists in people today.

"She does, and she's real," Bowlin said.

Bowlin ended her now-viral Facebook post about the small town cashier with the big heart on a very simple thought: "I want to be more like her."

I do, too.

Contact Therese Apel at 601-961-7236 or tapel@gannett.com.
Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Clarion Ledger


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