When I moved to California at 21 years old, I remember opening a door for a lady at a convenience store. When she walked through she did not look at me or acknowledge me in anyway. I sarcastically said under my breath, ” you’re welcome.” I had not perfected this art yet of saying stuff just out of someone’s earshot and when they say, “what?” I change what I say. If you’ve worked with me, you know what I mean. Anyways, I spout off and she whips her head around and says, “I didn’t ask you open that door!” I was stunned. Being a small town guy and a city beginner, I didn’t understand what was going on.
Fast forward to today. I’ve been dragging ass today so I went to Starbucks, which I only do now like every other month, but that’s another post. I walked up to the door and I felt the presence of someone behind me. I paused at the door and I swear that it was the same lady I opened the door for over 15 years ago in Southern California. I held the door for her and again, no thank you. I stood behind her in line and just as I am getting good and irritated she said to the barista, “use the change to get the gentleman that opened the door for me whatever he wants and you keep the change…” I looked and saw a $100 bill in the young hipster’s hand. We were both kind of shocked. I ordered my Late and went to say thank you. I gave her the typical, “you didn’t have to do that…” Before I could get anything else out she simply said, “do something nice for someone else.” As she was walking away I noticed her back pack’s logo, The Lake Elsinore Storm. They are the minor league baseball team from the city in the first part of this story, where the lady was harsh to me. 441 miles away and 15 years, could it be her? I’ve never felt like doing something really nice for a stranger but I will. We can get so wrapped up in our little lives, we forget that we are part of a large human community. Sometimes, a simple gesture of buying a person a cup of coffee can change someone’s day. What if that changed the path of their life? Think about it.