Today was a special day for many reasons. My best friends birthday was today. I got to spend the day with him and go to the Seahawks game. They pulled out a win on Monday Night Football and we couldn't be happier. After, we spent time with our good friends to finish off the day. That all sounds pretty darn special, right? Well, that wasn't even the best part. The best part was providing a surprise to someone we didn't even know.
As we walk through this journey we call life, there are definitely the ups and downs; twists and turns even. Hell, there may even been some unexpected detours thrown in there. We can live to tell the story and hear others stories. We won't know other's stories unless they are told. You can easily look at a person and assume everything is okay, but you'll never know what's truly going on in their lives unless they share it. I'm going to share something that happened to me at one point.
It was one of those day. Where nothing seemed to go right. You ever have those days? Where you just can't seem to win? Of course you do. Most people have them at some point. I was definitely down in the dumps one time. Everything seemed to hit me at once and I felt like things were spiraling out of control. Sometimes when you get that deep into something, you lose sight of what is important in your own life; taking care of yourself and picking yourself up. I was at a restaurant eating a sandwich and drinking a beer. My server at the time asked how I was doing and I let them know that it was a rough last couple of days. I didn't think anything of it. As I sat there long after I finished my meal and couple beers, I asked for my check. All I got in return was a little note saying, "I heard you were having a rough day, so I wanted to give you a little pick me up. Hope things get better." Someone had paid for my meal. Some people might take offense to that, but I took it to heart. To this day, I'm not sure who left that message with my server, but it is one that I have never forgotten. It provided me with the means to believe that there are still kind people out there who genuinely care. Fast forward to today.
As we sat and enjoyed our meal together, we noticed a guy come in with his backpack and sit down in the bar near us to grab a bite to eat and a couple beers. As the night went on, we were having a good old time enjoying ourselves. It was when our bartender came up to my best friend and I saying she didn't want to wake him up. At that point we looked over and saw the guy that had come in earlier sleeping in the chair. He had just nodded off. As we sat there and chatted, we kept looking over at this guy, sleeping. We instantly had an idea. And this is where it comes full circle. We didn't know this guy. We just saw him eating, having a drink and now sleeping. We have no idea what his story is. He could have just worked a crazy long shift and he's tired. He could've been working to provide for a family. We didn't know. All we knew was that we wanted to give this guy a little pick me up. We took his tab and paid for it and left before he actually went to pay.
I look at it like this. This gentleman looked like he had enjoyed his meal with no expectations of anything, but paying his bill when all of a sudden a kind stranger swoops in and makes it amazing. Regardless of your financial situation, that has to be such an amazing, unexpected treat. Hell, I know it was for me when someone bought my meal. There aren't many true (good) surprises in life once you're an adult, and this is something that can go a long way. It was something that touched me and I wanted to pay it forward with nothing expected in return.
With everything that happens in the world now days, from offensive names being thrown around, people not leaving tips and even things like mass shootings. It shows that the world is a dangerous place. The fact is, this stuff shows up in the news. 95% of the news is going to lead to depressing stats, etc. Paying for a meal may not be much, but to someone it could change their day and shows that there is still Kindness in the world.
With that said, I truly hope that this gentleman some day passes this on to someone else. He caught us before we actually left the parking lot and thanked us for the meal. We said you are very welcome and have a good night. As we sat there and watched him walk away with his backpack, we smiled because he had a smile on his. We didn't know this man. He looked exhausted and as he was walking away through the parking lot, we realized he didn't have a car or anything like that. We just watched him walk away at 12:30 am, into the dark.
As I sit here and reflect. It was the right thing to do. It doesn't matter the financial situation. This guy looked like he was having a long and somewhat exhausting day, so I did what I thought would pick him up a little. Pay his tab.
Remember folks, there are still good deeds to be done. Embrace the love and kindness and pay it forward. Trust me when I say it will go a long way and even come full circle. Kindness means the world to someone and is something that doesn't always exist. Practice it everyday.