Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Monday, November 19, 2012

Busting A Stereotype With Starbucks

     I got home from Fort Lauderdale late this evening and wearily cruised through the near-empty airport on my way to baggage claim and ground transportation.  When I walked outside to get the Preflight Parking shuttle over to where I had parked my car, I found that I was the only one on the van.  I was thinking of giving the driver a Starbucks gift card, but first had to overcome a bit of stereotyping.  Let me explain.
     I'm as guilty as the next person of having the tendency to judge people far too quickly.  In particular this evening, I was thinking about the kind of person who normally drives a parking shuttle.  I figured that they're likely lesser educated and more likely to buy coffee at 7-11 or Dunkin Donuts than they are to walk into a Starbucks.  To my surprise, however, the driver was listening to NPR, and more specifically, an interview that was being conducted with an economist - not the kind of thing I assume most drivers listen to.  When he dropped me off, I asked him if he enjoys Starbucks coffee, and he enthusiastically said that he loves Starbucks, so I gave him a gift card.  He was genuinely thankful, and reiterated how much he likes Starbucks.
      Thinking about it afterwards, it was another reminder to me to simply offer kindness wherever I can, without too much pre-judgment.  As I learned very early in the year, sometimes things go as I planned or expected, and sometimes they don't.  I can learn things from both.  

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