Emily is our guest writer today. She is a college student majoring in Museum Studies at Tusculum College. Emily loves her friends and loves to celebrate life in fun ways…it is part of her own style of goodness. Here’s her story…
Tonight, my friends and I celebrated Molly’s birthday. We began the celebration by doing what girlfriends do. We curled each other’s hair, did each other’s nails, and picked out shoes together. What Molly didn’t know was that this was actually a surprise party and that our guy friends were downstairs waiting to take us to dinner. When we made our way down to the kitchen, we were greeted by a plate of cupcakes lit with candles, followed by the handsome boys in their suits singing “Happy Birthday.” Molly was clearly surprised and touched. Even at 22, the tenderness of her dearest friends singing for her and celebrating her brought unspeakable joy.
The eight of us then made our way to a nice hibachi restaurant where the chefs skillfully prepare your meal before you with great style and finesse. It was a premium choice for us on our limited student budgets, but we had carefully planned and prepared for this special occasion. The grill where we were seated held nine people. When our party of eight arrived, there was a lone gentleman sitting at our table. He appeared to be a career man, more mature than us in age and attitude. I wondered how he would deal with this raucous bunch as we crashed his peaceful solitude.
As the night progressed, my jubilant friends became increasingly loud and silly, as young people can do. I discreetly observed the man at our table. He looked lonely and slightly bothered by our jokes and obnoxious laughter. My friend Ryan attempted to engage him in conversation. We learned he had moved to town just three months before and was trying to settle into a new life. For the rest of the night we didn’t talk to him much. He seemed content to sit quietly and sip his sake.
When the waitress came with our checks, something incredible happened. The man insisted on paying our tab…all eight of us! This man, who none of us had seen before, who we had barely spoken to, and who had no reason to be concerned with a bunch of rowdy college students, treated us all to an expensive dinner. This gesture of generosity left us speechless for a matter of moments before a round of hearty hand shaking and “thank you”s ensued.
I left that restaurant a different person. The lesson in this story is that generosity can be life changing. Simply giving away a smile to a random person on the street can totally change the way they feel. We, especially as Americans, tend to live in an “every man for himself” mindset. Sure, we have to be competitive to get ahead…but we forget how important it is to be kind to our fellow humans. There is no currency more valuable than Love. Generosity is a part of love, and we must learn to give of ourselves freely. You get a lot back that way. I hope that the man who was so generous to me will receive generosity from someone else very soon. I will also be looking for a way to pass on his generosity to somebody else. Who knows what unsuspecting stranger might benefit from the mutating generosity and goodness of our Hibachi Hero.
A “Good” Idea :
Make it a goal this week to deliberately show generosity to someone you don’t know. Come back and tell us about it!