Friday, April 13, 2018

Kindness Counts

Not a diabetes post, but from the heart. 
Wait, I take that back. Kindness counts in life and life with diabetes - so while this post isn't about diabetes - kindness matters when it comes to life.... and life with diabetes
SO, YEP. 
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I was on my way to get my stitches out at UrgentCare the other night. 
Traffic was bordering on crappy, I was getting hungry (and bordering on hungry,) so I decided to stop at the Starbucks looming in the distance, grab an early dinner and “wait out,” the traffic.
With knapsack on my back and Starbucks coffee card in hand, I grabbed a table, took off my coat and plopped my knapsack down on the two-top, then went to place my order. 
I’d noticed when I walked in that many of the small tables had been pushed together and the single occupants of said tables had spread out their stuff and made their own office cubicle - and just because they could. 
And that really bugged me. Why take up two tables and 3 to 4 chairs for one person - especially when seating was scarce. 
But I didn't say anything because sometimes I’ve been accused of making a  mountain out of molehill — and I was bordering on hangry - things could get ugly quick. 
So I said nothing - and I didn’t feel good about it.
 Nope, I just stood in line and ordered my egg white, spinach and feta wrap with extra sriratcha. 

Cut to 25 minutes later: My delicious wrap devoured, computer set up, and yours truly typing away on a WORD file at my tiny table. 
The front door opened and 3 elderly women walked in, one of whom was struggling to use her  walker. 
The ladies stopped in their tracks - midway between the counter and seating, when they realized their wasn’t a seat to be had. 
I know I wasn’t the only who watched them struggle to find a place to sit - but nobody offered to give up their extra table or seat. Nobody did anything.

So I did. 

I stood up, looked around and assessed the situation. I asked the girl sitting behind me if she was using her extra table - she was - her boyfriend was in the bathroom and  her mom were in line grabbing coffee. 
I asked if I could use her extra seat, (there were 4 chairs,) and she gave it to me willingly. 
Another woman at a table near the wall offered her extra table (which I didn’t even realize she had,) and I asked a man sitting in primo spot near the outlet if I could have his extra chair - and he said, “SURE.” 
Everyone was nice…. except the teenage girl’s mother who had just come back from getting her coffee. She gave me a dirty look and told me I’d taken her seat. 
I didn’t have time to make a federal case and I didn't take it personally.
I apologized, put the chair back, grabbed my extra seat and set up the table next to mine. 

Then I motioned for 3 women to come on over. 
It took less than 2 minutes from start to finish and the 3 ladies were shocked and grateful. 
Head Lady In Charge: I was watching what you were doing, but I didn’t know you were doing it for us - THANK YOU.
ME: No worries, there’s room enough for everyone!

The teen's mom tapped me on the shoulder and apologized - and told me quietly that she didn’t realize what I was doing. 
 I could tell she felt bad. It was a misunderstanding and I told her just that.
 And I meant every word.

Between you and me, when I saw those three women, images of of my own beautiful mom popped into my head. And I thought of my friend Mark who would take my sister Debbie to the mall - wheel chair and all, when I’d lost patience with her
I also thought of my friend Cathy, who drove her 93 pound dog Misty to the Rehab Center 
35 minutes from where we lived, to visit my Uncle B (who loved dogs,) in the rehab center after his health had taken a turn for the worse and 4 weeks before he died. 

And in my head I thought: KINDNESS COUNTS

BECAUSE IT ABSOLUTELY DOES. 

And Kindness matters. 

15 minutes later, a Starbucks employee walked up to me on the sly, bent down and whispered in my ear so that the 3 ladies couldn't hear: “what you did was so awesome, THANK-YOU,” and dropped a $10 Starbucks Gift card on my keyboard. 

And then it was my turn to be shocked and appreciative of her kind gesture. 

It doesn’t take much to look up from our screens and do the right thing. 
It doesn’t cost any money to be nice and engage with others - we all need to do that more often. 

We all need to look up from our screens more than we do, look around and consider others, not just ourselves. We need make sure everyone has a seat at the table of life. 

Kindness not only counts, kindness matters and a little kindness goes a hell of a long way in a world that needs more kindness and compassion

Kindness makes us feel good and gives us perspective on the world around us and the people in it. 


And kindness comes back to you -  which is also very cool. 

2 comments:

Rick Phillips said...

Kindness does count. It always does, if not for us, for others somewhere down the line. It never fails, never.

Catherine DeVreeze said...

You are so right. Kindness comes back to you. I call it living given. Even the little that I have, I can still give it forward. Sometimes that is just a smile as I walk down the hall at the Y. And boy, do I ever get a lot out of living given.