finding a more authentic, playful life --- finding your story

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A little kindness...

I have been looking for a new apartment. Not an easy task, as many can attest. After seeing yet another mediocre apartment, I walked by a coffee shop and decided I needed a coffee. Needed. I stepped in and ordered a small dark roast. As I rummaged through my purse, I suddenly remembered pulling my wallet out of my purse last night to purchase something online and never putting it back. My wallet was still on my couch.

(Note how I avoided using the word lying or laying, as I get scared every time I approach it in a sentence and so completely skipped it...but back to the gripping drama.)

GAH! No money. The baristo (Male barista. I'm coining that.) had stepped away from the register. I looked at the woman behind me in line. "I left my wallet at home!" I exclaimed sadly. She raised her eyebrows and nodded a bit. The baristo (Yup. I said it again.) returned and I glumly told him I must have left my wallet at home. "Oh," he replied. "Sorry." And then he began to pour my coffee back in the urn.

Poured it back in the urn!

Now. I'm not saying that he should have given me the coffee or that I deserved a free coffee or that anyone else was responsible but me for forgetting my money and not being able to buy a coffee. And I know they are a business and make money selling things and that if they gave away all the coffee they would have to close their doors. And maybe the lady behind me only had enough money for herself or had just bought another stranger coffee and was over it or who knows what! I know all this.

But I walked out of that coffee shop disappointed, (#firstworldproblems) not only in my empty hands but in the universe. I had clearly wanted a coffee, making mention of my caffeine need to the baristo before I discovered my missing money. Also, I had ordered a small drip, not a huge mocha frapayappa -- a small drip! What's that cost? And neither the lady behind me or the coffee dude offered to pay. Were they obligated to? Of course not. Were they responsible for my having coffee or not? Of course not. Could they have? YES!

I think I would have. It's $2! And it's nice.

It made me realize our days are FULL of opportunities for kindness, small little gestures that make a difference in a person's day and even life. We have these opportunities all the time. Does it have to involve money? Certainly not. It's waiting a few extra seconds to hold the door for an approaching stranger. It's smiling and saying hello to someone on the sidewalk.  It's about leaving a larger tip to the Korean lady who gave you a pedicure because you just read an article about how little money they truly make cutting peoples toenails. And yes, perhaps it's offering to pay for someone's coffee when they forgot their wallet.

These moments of kindness are gifts, not only to the person receiving it--- but to yourself. It all comes back around.

So keep your eye out for these opportunities to be kind because, as supposedly Plato said: everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Now I need to go buy a cup of coffee...