The other day, I was standing in line at Starbucks (I told you I don’t drink that much coffee, but I appreciate a good Frappucino Fix as much as the next person) when I heard the fella paying for his drink in front of me lamenting, “Hay naku, one more sticker pa!” Without thinking twice about it, I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, would you like the sticker I’m about to get for my drink? ‘Cause I really don’t care, so you can have your planner today if you want it.”
You should have seen the look on his face—it was like I’d offered him a new car or something. “Really?!” he exclaimed, and proceeded to follow me around thanking me profusely for the next ten minutes, while I attempted to explain that it was really no big for me to give him a sticker I would have tossed anyway, which I was getting for a drink I would have ordered anyway.
It was a neat reminder for me that sometimes we can shine a little light in people’s lives through things that we ourselves consider inconsequential or irrelevant. My husband has set the example for me in this in lots of little ways—like greeting taxi drivers first before simply rapping out his destination—and I think I manage to do this every now and then: by smiling at strangers as I walk down the street, treating salespeople like people instead of service ‘bots, and so on. I’ve been experimenting lately with greeting Vin with a big hug and excited enthusiasm instead of my usual merely-pleasant hello, and I think it’s made the day just that little bit brighter for both of us.
It’s nice, being nice. Though honestly I think it’ll take more than incremental kindnesses for Santa to decide that my “nice” column measures up to the “naughty” one. Oh, well.
By the way, my friend K8 is striving for the Starbucks planner herself, so if, like me, you don’t care, pass her your sticker if you run into her over coffee, okay? Remember, Santa may be watching!
Also by the way, I’ve updated the sideblog after, like, forever. Check it out over on the right.