A couple of random incidents yesterday combined to really light up my day and reaffirm my faith in hope for the human race. I will admit that it is often simply the very few individuals who conspire to make life an obstacle course of hurdles and whose actions shadow the majority of the good and the love which truly permeates the world at its core.
I was in BJ's yesterday stocking my shopping cart with the necessities of life and, for the life of me, could not find the one last item I was looking for.... a case of Annie's Macaroni and Cheese. I spied a woman busily stocking a shelf and assumed she was a store employee. I approached and asked her if she knew where the Mac and Cheese was and she replied that she was simply a contract vendor and not a regular store employee. I apologized for my assumption and we engaged in small talk for a few moments in the crowded store.
I consigned myself to the fact that I would be one item short of my list when I headed to the checkout. About halfway through my self-service checkout process, I saw the woman I was talking to earlier walking towards me and, with a beaming smile on her face, said she was looking for me and was glad she found me, telling me she had found the Mac&Cheese but was not sure if I had left the store. She asked if I still wanted it and I replied that I didn't want her to go through the trouble to run half a football field back through the cavernous aisles of the warehouse just to grab me a case of Mac&Cheese but there she was, returning with it, clutched against her chest as she met me at the register. I reached out to thank her and she could sense that I was visibly moved by the gesture. Here was a person who I would likely never see again in my life and she had so gone out of her way, not even being a store employee, to offer such a kind gesture. I reached out as a gesture to her in thanking her and I'm pretty sure she would have given me a huge hug. She made my day and I let her know how much her thoughtfulness and empathy were appreciated.
From BJ's, I headed up to Pizzeria Uno's where I was to meet with J who would be coming in from the other direction to meet up with me there. I arrived at Uno's about 10 minutes prior to J's arrival and so decided to head in and grab a table rather than to sit in the parking lot. I must have made a great impression the last time I was at Uno's and talked to our waitress because there was a huge light-up when I entered the restaurant. Three women: Two waitresses and a greeter were at the entry podium and one was Denise, our waitress I had a couple of weeks ago. I greeted her by name and the faces just lit up as they all seemed to recognize me. Denise was getting off shift and said she would put us with Adam who would take care of us and as she indicated, "have us well taken care of".
Adam, our server came by and introduced himself to me as I sat quietly in the booth just across from the bar waiting for J to arrive. Small talk and a sigh let out from me, gave motive of response from him to ask if I had had a busy week. I indicated that it was a busy week of work but also that I had been involved with a three hour "staff meeting" for a political coalition to address specific human rights issues within the state of New Hampshire. He inquired as to what those initiatives were and I decided, right there, to not miss a beat and to go with it. I told him that in the state of New Hampshire, a person cannot be fired from the their job, cannot be denied public housing or accommodation or discriminated against simply by their race, creed, color, sex or sexuality. I further revealed that I was working as part of a team to assist in adding those who identify as transgender to that list.
He did not bat an eye when I mentioned the word transgender, which surprised me a little personally, but in a really warm and affirming way. I was pretty sure that even if I had been under the radar in stealth earlier, that I more than likely just outed myself at that point. Amazingly, the conversation intensity picked up as he indicated his surprise in the fact that transgender protection was NOT included in the current state constitutional amendments. His words to me were, "I thought that was over and done with a long time ago and "by the boards"". He then related his own political affirmations which made it obvious that he was totally for an amendment favoring transgender inclusive human rights.
J arrived and the rest of the evening went superbly as we interacted with a number of the staff who seemed to come by our table to "assist". After paying my check and proceeding to exit, the manager who was an older gentleman, caught me and engaged me in some small talk for some time as we exchanged pleasantries of rural life.
I cannot help but think that there were impressions made and thoughts left with the interactions with the staff at that restaurant. I cannot get over what I sense are these warm and affirming smiles for some unknown reason when I bump into people randomly. It was visibly and emotionally moving to me on that day to find such warmth and outpouring of hospitality, inquisitiveness and human empathy as I found in these simple human interactions on simply a random day. Amazing.....
I feel that Maya Angelou sums this experience up best when she said:
"People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But people will never forget how you made them feel."