I made a new friend today. And I don’t even know her name. And I met her in a way that can only happen to me. We shared the same quest for Chicken Noodle Soup in the lunch line at work.
The soup was being prepared. A small group of us waited with baded breath for it to be delivered. At the same time, an education ‘fair’ was taking place across the way. I was waiting by the to-go soup bowls when a woman came up and said ‘I might as well get my cup ready’ and selected her bowl of intent. “I should do the same” I reply.
“I love their chicken noodle soup” she says to me, to which I agree. And then we chat. She tells me how she was roaming through the education fair. I asked if it was worth going to (which is a ridiculous question since it was in my building, on my floor. It takes 30 seconds to walk to it and maybe 15 minutes to circle around without talking to anyone). She said she got some neat stuff and proceeded to show me the contents of her bag: some free pens, a free cool-doo-hickey thing that I was like “Oh I need to grab one of those! I hope they don’t run out while I wait for the soup…but I’d rather not miss out on the soup than leave my place in line to grab that!” She laughed; we laughed.
She then left me and I found a co-worker and we chatted a bit. I started seeing more of my soup line compadres leave in my peripheral…and then the soup came out and I ran to it (I was a foot away) while chatting with my co-worker. I wasn’t going to mniss out on my soup.
And then suddenly, the woman appears again. She says “I grabbed you one of those thingies and pen. I didn’t want you to miss out on it.”
I don’t know how I can relay how momentous a moment that was for me. I didn’t know this lady. We bonded over soup. She heard me get excited, in the 10 minutes of our conversation, about one thing. And she remembered. And she left the soup line to go get one…just for me. Sure, it’s a silly thing but seriously, for someone to do that for no other reason than just to do it? It is special to me.
And that’s how inanimate objects become so sacred. And little moments like this: those unexpected, odd, random acts of kindness.
I learn from these type of people. The guard gate at one of the entrances to my work waves avidly to everyone that comes through in the morning. We all know who she is. They all wave but she is enthusiastic and has the biggest, kindest smile you could ever hope to see every day. It was, and still is, one of the best parts of my day is getting that greeting. So what do I do? It doesn’t matter what entrance I come in on, I roll my window down (rain or shine), turn my radio down, and give a big wave out my window with a loud “Good morning!” or a “Have a good one!” I don’t know if it makes _their_ day, the way she makes mine, but it doesn’t matter. I know how she made me feel and I strive to do the same for anyone else.
And now I have another role model to follow.