Thursday, November 15, 2007
The Gift of Giving
In this day and age, you really don't get to witness a term called, "The Kindness of Strangers." But in my line of work it is a real treat when this happens. Even if the kindness is not directed at you. I thought since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I still can't believe how this year has flown by, that I would tell you a few unique stories of things I have had the pleasure to witness.
The pain of 9-11 is still in every one's hearts. The days of people seeing a soldier and just walking by him are long gone. Almost every time there is a man in uniform in my restaurant, at least one person approaches his or her table and thanks them for the service they give our country. The soldier, politely, says "Thank you." Sometimes a pleasant conversation is started and you can see some of the ways people call old fashioned, played in action. I love it when a see a soldier approach a veteran and thank them for what they have done for our country in the past. It is the younger generation recognizing the elder population.
A few weeks ago, I was waiting on a table of soldiers. Four men and one woman. I was having blast joking with them and such. A fellow server approached me. They said that their table wanted to talk to me. Finding it a bit odd, I went on over to a table that was not mine. The lady sitting there wanted to purchase the soldiers meal as a Thank You for their service. I was pleasantly surprised and allowed her to do so. I let my guests finish their meal with no clue as to what had happened. When it came time to leave them the check, I let them know that a generous lady had taken care of their entire bill. They all wanted to know who had done such a nice thing. The lady hadn't asked for me to not tell them, so I let them know. Again, thanks and talking was exchanged. Strangers helping strangers. I love seeing that.
Then yesterday, yet another incident happened. Which is what brought this story about. There was a really young couple. I would say easily twenty, twenty-two max. The woman is pregnant. They were just out for a nice lunch. Apparently had errands to run and such. This time a man approached the server of the young couples table. He wanted to buy their meal, and provide the tip. He said he remembered starting off young with little ones. He said, "You can let them know that I want them to save this money for the baby. But don't tell them that it was me." This man didn't know the young couple at all. He was just drawing from his past and decided to help someone out. The young couple naturally wanted to know who was so kind, but alas, we honored the man's request. The were told not to tip. The man took care of that as well. Hopefully that young couple will remember that and pay it forward in their own way in their own time.
I am a firm believer in the Pay It Forward way. I have been helped so many times in my life and when I can I help out others. Just something to think about as the Holiday season is approaching.