Sprout’s Cashier

William Liao
1 min readJun 17, 2024

While checking out at the grocery store Sprout’s after a rough day a few weeks ago, the cashier ended our transaction saying: “I’ll put your receipt in your bag for you. It’s a convenient place to put it — easy to find; hard to lose!”

She sounded so positive that I thought she was being sarcastic. That, or equally plausible, I was just being increasingly cynical after a frustrating day.

It ended up being the latter because, when I looked at her it was clear that she was actually just being really nice.

The genuinely kind and positive attitude she offered may seem small, but it felt big. It significantly lifted my spirits and turned my day around which improved my subsequent interactions with others that day.

You might call this a virtuous cycle — where kindness begets kindness; positive energy begets positive energy.

Surely the cashier’s kindness was also the product of having been exposed to kindness in their own lives.

Suddenly the logic of the golden rule and the notion of investing in a community’s culture makes perfect sense.

If you want to be in an environment filled with good spirits and energy, it starts with you generously offering it to others.

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William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (ephemera.photography)