Experiment: Will Anyone Get Up for a Pregnant Woman?

I was at the mall this weekend finishing up a little Christmas shopping. My husband and stepson were there also and we split up for a bit because my stepson wanted to shop for me. (So sweet and thoughtful!) We made arrangements to meet up in front of a particular store an hour later, which worked out nicely because there was a row of three couches there.

I got to our meeting spot about 10 minutes early, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to rest my feet. After all, I’m now eight months into this pregnancy and carrying around much more weight than I’m used to. When I got there, however, all of the seats were full.

Now I’m not the type to ask people to get up and I was content to stand while I waited, but I also thought it would be a good opportunity to run a little experiment to see if anyone would offer up a seat to the pregnant woman.

I positioned myself at the end of the row where most everyone sitting would be able to see me and I set my bags on the ground. I should add that I was wearing leggings and a fitted sweater, so unless someone thinks I actually swallowed a basketball, it is very obvious that I am very pregnant.

Let’s also consider that this is Christmas time, generally a time of year when people may be feeling more generous.

So what do you think happened?

Did any of the four men occupying one couch get up? No. A few of them made eye contact, but that was it.

Did any of the women occupying another couch get up? No. Some of them didn’t notice me at all, though one made eye contact and looked away.

But here’s the kicker… did the woman closest to me, who had her packages on the couch next to her offer to move her packages so I could sit? No.

Seriously.

Honestly, I was surprised, especially when it comes to the woman who took up seating with her shopping bags. How sad that courtesy and compassion has sunk this low, particularly at a time of cheer.

After 5 or 6 minutes, someone got up to leave and I took their seat. Incidentally, it happened to be the seat on the other side of the shopping bags. And yes, I smiled at the woman across her shopping bags. Not a nasty, sneering smile, but a genuine smile. And I felt really good about it.

Now let me restore your faith in humanity a little bit. After meeting back up with my husband and stepson, we went to Brookstone where between my belly, the bags I was carrying, and the mass of people in the store, I found it difficult to maneuver the small aisles, so I found a somewhat out of the way spot to stand while my men went to browse.

I was standing there for probably two minutes when a Brookstone employee came over and asked if I’d like to sit in the massage chair. She explained that we couldn’t run the chair since I’m pregnant, but she welcomed me to rest as long as I would like.

Maybe kindness isn’t dead yet.

What do you think? Have you experienced or witnessed any seat offerings for pregnant women, the elderly, or otherwise?

Wishcasting Wednesday: Daring

Wishcasting badgeIt is Wishcasting Wednesday, a wonderful day when we can cast our wishes out in the world and support everyone else’s wishes with positive energy.

This week Jamie asks: “What do you wish to dare?”

I got such a rush when I read this question because it so perfectly aligned with a message I received loud and clear this morning.

As I made my way out of NY Penn Station this morning, I passed by a section of the station that is always plastered with giant ads for one company. These ads are adhered to the floor, wrapped around columns, and on the faces of the stairs that lead out of the station.

I’ve often seen ads for an airline or a mattress company. You can’t help but notice them because of their large sizes and unusual placements.

Before I say why the ads struck me today, let me back up and say that I had a morning filled with thoughts about humanitarianism- serving the world and those in need. I’m not sure what to do with that just yet, but it’s an idea that has suddenly been appearing to me from many angles over the last week, so I’m certain it’s important.

I was thinking about that during my commute today and as I walked through the train station, I saw giant letters that said, “Dare to join forces with nature.”

Dare to join forces.

Dare.

That message struck me because of how apropos of my own inner brain swirlings it was. As if that wasn’t enough, now I see that Jamie is asking us what we wish to dare.

Me? I wish to dare to serve a greater good.

I’m not certain what form this takes just yet, but I am certain it is what I need to do right now in some way.

‘Tis Better to Give: How To Find A Charity

The giving season is upon us. With Thanksgiving just past and Christmas still ahead, you may be thinking about those less fortunate. Or maybe you’re just thinking about what to buy for the picky aunt who has everything though will still be offended if you don’t find her the perfect gift. I can’t really help you with this last one, but if you are thinking about how you can help those in need, go to Charity Navigator.

I discovered this site a couple of months ago while trying to learn about different charities to determine who does what, what types of donations they accept, and how they use their incoming dollars. Charity Navigator has rated more than 5,000 of America’s best known charities. Their focus is on the financial health of the organizations and also includes their mission statements, links to their websites, and an option for immediate online donations.

Have a charity in mind? Search for them in the database to learn what percentage of their expenses goes toward administrative fees, or how much their CEO takes in salary. Trying to find the right charity? You can search their database by cause or rating to find those that fit you best.

As for your aunt’s Christmas present, make a donation in her name to a charity she couldn’t snub her nose at.