|Coffee by Cheryl Foong is licensed under CC BY 2.0|
This morning, I dropped my oldest at school and headed to the nearby Starbucks, where I’ve started setting up my mobile office for a couple of hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I got in line and studied the menu, deciding on a Chai Latte and waiting my turn.
I listened to the young woman in front of me order an herbal tea. “Wait, do you guys have coffee? Just regular coffee?” she asked. Her clothing was dirty and she was wearing too many layers for even this cool morning.
The barista looked up from the register with a small smile and said, “Yeah, we have coffee.”
“Okay, can you make it sweet?” She mirrored his smile and I saw how pretty she was. Maybe 20 years old, she clutched a plastic bag with what I assumed were her only possessions. Or maybe simply the most important ones.
“Sure, hot or iced?” he asked.
“No ice, just regular hot coffee. Sweet.”
The barista grabbed a cup and began marking it with her order. The older woman standing in front of her smiled and waited to pay, and I realized she was planning to buy this young woman’s drink. Once the older woman’s order was rung up, she said, “Oh, I'm getting hers, too.”
The barista waved his hand and said, “Oh no, we’ve got it. Thank you for your kindness.”
And that was it. The generosity of one woman became a gift from Starbucks instead.
So today, when I woke up too late and had to rush through our morning routine, when I feel a bit overwhelmed and under-motivated, suddenly I am warmed by a simple act of giving.
I am reminded to be kind. Do good. Love others, even in their mess, even in the smallest of ways. It will always matter. And the rest—the hurt, the overwhelm, the craziness and difficulty—will begin to feel a little…less.