I had something completely different planned for this morning’s post, but then something happened. What is it they say, “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans?”
Things were quiet in our house early this morning. My wife was not yet home from her overnight shift in the hospital. My three boys are already off for Christmas break (Catholic school) so they were sleeping. My daughter had asked to get a ride to school at 6:30 to meet with her chemistry teacher, so I arose at 5:00 to get some things done before making the fifteen-minute round trip to Penfield High School.
I showered, fed the dog, and settled in at the kitchen table – coffee steaming and laptop aglow in the early morning darkness.
Around 6:00 I heard my daughter stirring upstairs, and at 6:25 she appeared just as I emptied my coffee mug. We got into the car and I dropped her off in the PHS bus loop without incident. As I drove away, I decided to swing by Starbucks before heading home. I received a SBUX gift card for my birthday ten days ago and it seemed like a good time to put it to use.
I pulled in right next to two County Sheriff cars in the nearly deserted lot. Normally by 6:45, the Penfield Starbucks is hopping, but not today. As I stood in line waiting my turn behind only one other person, I spied the two cops in the corner. I stood quietly looking at the overpriced baked goods (like we all do), and I heard another customer come in behind me. The next moment went like this:
Barista: Good morning, what can I get you?
Me: Venti Christmas Blend please, with room for milk.
Barista: Will that be all?
Me: No (turning to my left and looking at the lady behind me in line) whatever she’s having too.
Lady: Really? You don’t have to do that.
Me: Well, people have done it for me and it really made my day, so just tell the barista what you’ll have.
She ordered some kind of Jasmine tea. I scanned my Starbucks app on my phone to pay the bill. The Barista handed me my drink. I turned to the lady and said “have a great day.” She smiled saying, “I already am.”
I did not set out to do that this morning, it literally struck me as the barista asked if I wanted anything else. The lady behind me was not in rags nor did she appear to be in need of anything. She was well dressed and was holding out her own iPhone 6, ready to pay the barista the same way I did. However, here’s the thing to always remember:
Outward appearances are exactly that – appearances. None of us know what is going on in the mind, home and heart of another. A simple gesture of human kindness can make all the difference.
So, my challenge to you all is to go out and make the effort TODAY to be overtly giving in a situation that doesn’t necessarily call for it. If you do, I absolutely guarantee that the recipient of your kindness will not be the only one who has a better day. The ultimate gift to the soul is the feeling that comes from giving to another. In other words – Pay it forward.
So, go out there and get your soul something nice… you deserve it!
Copyright © 2015 – Stephen S. Nazarian – All rights reserved.