Some days, this may seem like a dying art, but yesterday I experienced a simple act of kindness at Starbucks that made my day.
When the woman in front of me placed her order, she gently asked the employee behind the counter about the man sitting outside on the patio. She said she’d noticed him sitting there most days and wanted to know if he ever came in to order something. The barista replied that he usually just sits outside by himself for an hour or so, watching the cars pass and then leaves.
Taking one last glance in the man’s direction, the girl promptly ordered another coffee and on her way out, offered it to him. He gladly accepted as a big smile spread across his face, which quickly spread to mine (and just about everyone else’s around me!).
This cup of coffee was a simple gesture, but really changed my spirit for the rest of the day. This coffee held compassion, empathy, and an acknowledgment that the man was not alone. He was someone that she noticed, someone (like all the rest of us) that really matters and exists as an integral part of the community we live in.
One of my favorite quotes comes from a Xhosa proverb that defines South African culture: “Ubuntu ungamntu ngabanye abantu” or “People are people through other people.” As individuals, we are not islands (no matter how hard Simon and Garfunkel tried!), we are all interconnected in the beautiful chaos that is, life.
This is why it is so important to reach out, help someone in need, extend love and gratitude and…as mom always taught…
Moral of the story? Just. Be. Nice.
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