This morning while I was bumbling around in my unbelievably jumbled computer files in hot pursuit of an elusive file and lamenting the fact that I haven’t published a blog for three weeks, I unexpectedly came upon a letter that I had written years ago in praise of a fellow employee who was the manager the espresso bar where I worked.
It wasn’t my intention to plagiarize myself today, but hey—desperate times call for desperate measures. Three weeks is a long time in a blogless world, and the message in this letter is a timeless reminder of the power of kindness and of how I want to be when I grow up. So self-plagiarize I shall, and here we go . . .
“You know that you’ve arrived when they see you coming, greet you by name, and have your favorite drink ready for you by the time you get to the counter to pay for it. But the other day, I had more than “just arrived.” Thanks to Fred, fabulous manager that he is, I became Queen for a Day.
As always, I allowed myself enough time to get my favorite coffee fix before starting work. When I saw the length of the line, my shoulders slumped and my heart sank a little as I turned on my heel, departed from the line, and headed for work sans coffee to be there on time.
About a half-hour later, I decided to try my luck again. The thought was barely complete when I looked up to see Fred rounding the corner with a cup of coffee in his hand, and he was headed in my direction. He stopped, put the coffee on the counter, smiled, and said, “I saw you in line, and didn’t want you to be disappointed. I don’t know what you like in it, so I brought you several choices.” With that, he dropped a variety of sweetener packets beside the coffee and turned to leave – but he didn’t get away before I raced around the counter to give him a big hug—back in the day when it was still safe to hug an employee regardless of gender.
It doesn’t take very much to put a smile on someone’s face, and the smile that Fred put on mine with his random act of kindness spread to all the other faces I met that day. Never underestimate the power of one small act of kindness toward another. Like throwing a pebble in a pond, the ripples extend outward into infinity and touch lives in ways that we cannot possibly know. Just imagine how many lives may have been uplifted by that one kind act on the part of one very thoughtful person.
I’m going to love and appreciate Fred for all I’m worth while he’s there, because I know that he won’t last long. He’ll be moved on to bigger things before I can say “Tall American with caramel, please.” On the other hand, maybe if we’re lucky, Fred will decide to be like the enlightened monk who spent the later years of his life in the service of others simply by making omelets with such love that people came from miles around to just be in his presence. Yep. That’s just how I want to be when I grow up.”
With gratitude for all kindness both great and small, and love to all.
Note: The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us)