I nervously clutched the items I’d chosen to purchase, as I viewed the checkout line at the store.

The cashier was a little out of the ordinary. Scary, actually. It was entirely possible that he was the scariest cashier I’d ever laid eyes on. Long pitch-black hair had been worked into ominous spikes protruding from his scalp. A wide array of pins, studs, barbells, screws, andHow out of place he looked in this small-town store filled with brightness and sunshine! other interesting-looking “jewelry” ornamented his face and body. Thick black eyeliner and dark macabre attire further accented his grim appearance.

How out of place he looked in this small-town store filled with brightness and sunshine! How did he get here? Thoughts of him crawling out of a dark murky hole from the underbelly of the earth flashed through my mind. That wasn’t the only thing flashing through my mind, though. Thoughts of stolen credit card numbers, stolen identities, and all manner of anxiety-driven notions were also bouncing about in there.

Perhaps I could just put my things back, slip out the large glass doors, and simply go somewhere else. But Shabbat would be coming soon and trying to squeeze in another stop would be like Joshua asking the sun to stand still. I was no Joshua.

But wait—though it was a bit hidden, there was another checkout line. I headed in that direction, then stopped short. Could it be? Really? This cashier was sporting a magnificent mohawk!

The other shoppers ahead of me seemed completely nonchalant, calmly inching forward as the line progressed. So I decided to study the source of what I felt should be the cause for alarm. The cashier.

The cashier stood tall and emanated a steady confidence as he successively tallied the purchases and spoke with the customers. It seemed thatThis cashier was sporting a magnificent mohawk! he cared. Truly cared. Because as he inquired about the well-being of each customer that went through his line, a sincerity that is rarely seen was shining through. I could see the faces of his customers light up with smiles.

Feeling quite silly, I couldn’t help but chuckle at myself and shake my head.

If this young man, with his extreme attire, could prove me wrong, I wondered how I could better fine-tune my perceptions of everyone that I “disapprove” of.

It was my turn now to check out. “Hello, ma’am. How are you today?” he asked, his eyes kind and inquiring.

“I’m well, thanks. Yourself?”

As we conversed, he was well-spoken, and his refined, genteel manners were a breath of fresh air. Finally, as the transaction concluded, he gave me a genuine smile and sincerely wished me a very good day. And it truly was.