I walked into a coffee shop to kill time and write a blog on kindness. And what do I experience immediately but a nice, young man standing at the counter. What is a cortado, I ask? And a flat white? I was struck both by the array of choices and their prices. As he described the first choice, I said I’ll have that one. And then he said, put it on my tab. Oh no, I responded. Why not, he said. So I thanked him (again and again actually as if it was so very extraordinary) and sat down with my fancy drink to sip and write.
I’ve been thinking about kindness a lot. I’ve always subscribed to the random acts of kindness way of living, honestly – let someone in who’s merging into your lane, ask folks serving me at a restaurant or store how their day is going, smile at someone marginalized in our society if it feels safe, that kind of thing. Frankly, it’s not hard. I was jarred this week when I was honked at twice when I pulled out of my driveway and then later a parking lot. Maybe I was at fault or maybe these drivers were driving too fast. Debatable.
Public defense lawyer Bryan Stevenson and poet Naomi S