Today was a very busy day for me. Not only did I have a BIG morning event that required an early on-site time, but I had a late afternoon event that had BIG meaning. Luckily I still had enough time to squeeze in lunch with my hubby at one of our favorite little Mexican restaurants.
As we sat chatting over our food a disheveled man walked in and started talking to a waitress about some metal platters he wanted to sell. I tried not to give the situation too much attention because I didn’t want to make it awkward, but from where we sat not far away I could tell these platters were nothing special.
Despite his loud voice and social awkwardness the waitress was patient and polite with the man as he showed her each platter and described it. She told him she would go get the owner because that he would have to decide if the restaurant would buy something. By this time he had the entire restaurant’s attention.
A moment later a clean cut Hispanic man came to speak with this solicitor, and he too calmly listened to the lengthy description of each platter. Once the man was done with his pitch, the owner explained that they had certain regulations about what kinds of food serving materials they could use, but rather than buy a platter he would offer the man a meal. The man agreed and was seated at the booth next to us, where he was quickly served a plate of hot food.
When he was done eating he loudly addressed the bar tender nearby about how he remembered coming here with his wife years ago when the restaurant was nothing more than a wood box with a lady in it selling tacos. Then he wandered out.
It was humbling and heart warming to see a business man treat someone who he knew would likely never contribute a dime to his bottom line with such respect and kindness. I was so touched I almost offered to pay for the man’s meal, but after watching that interaction I knew the owner would likely turn down my offer with the same sensitivity.
When we left the owner was back in the kitchen overseeing his staff so I asked our waitress to pass on our appreciation of how he had handled the situation, making it a positive experience for all around rather than approaching it in a way that could have gone 180* from what it was.
Needless to say the next time I need to choose a place to eat in that neighborhood I’ll choose that business because it’s more than great food and atmosphere at a great price. It’s about supporting a local business who does more than employ people and pay taxes.
Situations like these remind me why I’m a hopeless romantic when it comes to humanity. I BELIEVE there is still good out there and that it appears in little moments like this. I can only pray that I will have the grace to act in a similar manner whenever presented the opportunity.
After my long day I came home and checked email and Facebook. Chatted with friends and got caught up on what they are doing. I ended up watching a funny video link a family member shared, which lead me to others because the artist featured was so talented that I wanted to learn more about her. At that point YouTube suggested the video below. I believe that God made the electrical connection that placed that suggestion on my screen, because this clip reiterated the hope that had been kindled during my lunch date. These young friends are an amazing duo both musically and personally. And their talent was bestowed to let them share the beauty of their souls with others! I hope it moves you as much as it did me.