A Simple Gesture -- My Aha Moment

Sometimes one simple moment can make you look at your life completely different. For me, this moment was a simple gesture for another person. It was my Aha moment.

There's a local jazz bar that my husband and I love to go to every now and then. We'll go on Saturday afternoons, have a couple of drinks, and take in some great live music. We've been going for years.

We've gotten pretty friendly with the manager there, and even though we don't stop by very often, he always remembers us. A couple of years ago, he mentioned that his birthday was coming up, and for no particular reason my husband made a note of it.

Two years later, the alert popped up on my husband's phone. It was the manager's birthday. Since I'm always looking for any excuse to enjoy a glass of wine and some live music, I suggested we head over to the jazz club to wish the man a happy birthday.

The place was busier than we'd ever seen it. The staff was slammed, just barely keeping up. We spotted the manager and saw that he was practically run off his feet. However, he noticed us right away and warmly welcomed us back.

He scurried from table to table in an effort to keep up with the crowd. Most of the clientele didn't converse with him much, just pointed at their glasses for refills or made a checkmark motion in the air when they were done for the day. Don't get me wrong; some people were nice, but others were extremely rude. That's something you sort of come to expect when you live in a big city, but you never fully get used to it. The manager just went about his business.

The band finished their set and most of the venue cleared out. As my husband and I sat at the bar and finished our drinks, the manager came over and asked if we wanted the bill.

"We'll have one more," I said. "And we want to buy you one too."

"Why?" he asked, clearly puzzled.

"Well, we just wanted to wish you a happy birthday."

What happened next was truly amazing to watch!

His whole demeanor changed as joy and amazement flooded his features. Right before my eyes I saw him transform from someone who felt invisible to someone who felt like the king of the world.

He just couldn't believe that two people he barely knew would go out of their way to wish him a happy birthday. Even customers who'd been coming for twenty years hadn't remembered, he gushed. Or most of his family, for that matter. He felt overwhelmed with gratitude for this simple act.

I've always wanted to make a difference in this world. Recently I've felt a constant struggle with how I was supposed to do it. Watching the manager's reaction that day left me speechless and truly changed. I realized that making a difference doesn't need to be a big production. Sometimes all you need to do is make another person feel recognized; make them feel like they matter.

To this day I cry every time I think of this special moment. We're all searching for our mission, our reason for being on this planet. I feel like I found mine that day. And it all started with such a simple gesture.

This is something we can all do. Let's make the world a better place. Together!



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