Oh! The Humanity!
One day last week I stopped at Starbucks for coffee on my way in to work. Two cars in the drive through line caught my eye. The first, two cars ahead of me, a gorgeous new Range Rover, the second, directly in front of me, a considerably older car with an inoperable driver's side window. The driver had to open her door to place her order. I contemplated the diversity of the vehicles and I busied myself reading the myriad of bumper stickers on the back of her car.
She had one of my favorites, “Coexist”, which used to adorn my own bumper until a very angry guy honked at me and flipped me off over it. I decided that I would just practice coexistence on a more private level. I continued to read and get a feel for who she was, what her life experiences were and my eyes fell to the most expressive. One I felt in the moment I could relate to, “Losing Faith In Humanity One Person At A Time”
This one made me feel sad and yet strangely connected to her at the same time. I felt bad for the things she must have experienced to post that point of view on her car. Connected to her because I feel the same way much of the time.
In an effort to combat this, I periodically treat the person behind me in the drive through to their morning brew. I do this for no reason other than to remind folks that just a small kindness, randomly planted fosters more kindness. As I sat there thinking about her bumper sticker, I found myself wishing that I was in the car in front of her, knowing what I knew about her from reading her car. She needed a kindness.
We edged nearer the window and the beautiful Range Rover drove away, the woman ahead of me opened her door to pay and I heard, “The lady ahead of you got you this morning.” and handed her the coffee without accepting her payment. My heart soared! I said a little thank you to whomever might be listening. I collected my coffee (I know what you're wondering, did I pay it forward? My Starbucks app was low on funds, so I did on my next visit) and continued my drive to work.
On my way, I found myself wishing that the woman in the Range Rover could know what her kindness might have meant to that lady. I vowed if I saw her at the next light, I'd try to tell her. She wasn't there. As I neared work, I spotted her pulling into the parking lot where I work. I had two thoughts, “Oh! I can tell her!” and, “Oh! I can compliment her on her car!” (I'm sorry, I LOVE cars… seriously, just look at it…)
I caught up with her and we walked into the office together, it turns out she is a lady I work with. I was grateful for the opportunity to share with her how her act of kindness blessed more than one recipient that morning. As it turned out, she had seen the woman before and knew what stickers she had on her car. What a perfect opportunity to pay it forward to someone who truly needed a glimmer of hope that humanity deserves faith. She reminded me that there are always going to be negative people, but the positive always wins out in the end. It was just the reminder I needed and I am thankful for that.
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”