Poet Henry James said, "Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind."
Sistersville resident Geneva Bowen is now a firm believer that kindness exists in today's world when a person least expects it.
"Just when you think that there are no good people, no kind people left in the world, somebody comes along and surprises the socks off you," she said.
When shopping last week in New Martinsville, Bowen put her items on the counter and watched as the cashier rang up her total, $46.46. It was not until she pulled her checkbook from her purse to pay, that she realized she had no checks with her.
Unsure what to do, she asked if she could speak to the manager of the store, thinking perhaps he would allow her to take her groceries and prescriptions home and return later with the money. But before anything could be done, the woman in line behind her, stepped up and said she would take care of it.
"This woman was a complete stranger, I had never seen her before in my life," Bowen said. "I told her, no, no, you can't do that. I can't let you do that. But she wouldn't take no for an answer. She didn't even know how much my purchases were, and she was willing to pay for them! She did pay for them!"
Bowen was overcome with gratitude. "You just don't see this kind of thing from people anymore," she said. "That somebody would be so very kind to a complete stranger is so refreshing. It has given me renewed faith in my fellow man, I'll tell you that. The Lord has certainly blessed me on this day."
"She didn't want to give me her name, but I kept on until she did because of course I must repay her. And truly, I could not thank her enough. What a wonderful soul she is. I never expected anything like this to happen at all."
Because she wished to remain anonymous in the first place, we will not print this very kind woman's name, only that she is from New Matamoras, OH, and that she will forever have Bowen's gratitude.
And Geneva Bowen says that she will now pass this act of kindness on to another and hopefully the chain will continue.
The kindness performed by this perfect stranger to another is a lesson to us all.
One does not need to know another person in order to be kind or perform a kind deed. One does not need to raise thousands of dollars or leave their neighborhood to help out another human being.
One only has to act.