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

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

With A Little Help From Cheryl

     I was in the Buckhead section of Atlanta this evening and I stopped in at a Maggiano's Restaurant for dinner.  My waitress was a very friendly and helpful woman named Cheryl and I had a great meal and great service.  When I was done (stuffed, to be accurate), Cheryl asked if I wanted to see the dessert menu.  Though I hadn't brought the note I sometimes like to write, I figured tonight was still a good night for someone to receive a dessert courtesy of a stranger.
     I let Cheryl know that I couldn't possibly find room for any more food, but that I wanted her to do me a favor.  I explained that I wanted her to pick something from the dessert menu and put it on my bill, and that I wanted her to then select someone this evening that she thought might appreciate a dessert.  I asked her to present the dessert to the person and just let them know that it was from a stranger wishing them a good day.
     Cheryl was clearly touched by this and when she brought me the check, she explained that she was pretty sure she knew to whom she'd give the dessert.  There was a table of three that she was serving, and two of the guests ordered a meal that came with a complimentary dessert.  She thought it would be nice if the other person also got one, and she was going to tell them that it was a gift from a "blessed stranger."
     I love doing this kind of gesture because it has the possibility of affecting a number of people.  The waitress is definitely impacted and she's likely to go home feeling better tonight, and perhaps even tell her friends and family what happened, and maybe they'll choose to do some act of kindness.  And of course, the person who received the dessert, along with the other diners and his/her table have a surprising experience of kindness and generosity that's likely to have them telling others, and hopefully extending some kindness they might not have otherwise considered.  And they'll never know, nor do they need to know, who started that wave of kindness.  Pretty fun.

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