The other night, Andrew and I were discussing some random things when I shared an experience I had several years ago that has forever left an impression on me.
A few years ago, I was in the hardest time of my life (something I’ll be sharing here very, very soon). I was broke, sad and dealing with more than I’d ever imagined. And, perhaps even sadder, I was working at Starbucks. Yep, had my Bachelor’s Degree and years of work experience, but had lost my job and had to take care of business. So, I worked as a massage therapist and a barista. By the way, I know that there are many people who love their job at Starbucks, but I’m not gonna lie: I hated it. I hated the grumpy people. And quite frankly, I hated my life at that time.
Anyways, one day I was just having one of those days. My boyfriend (at the time) and I were having issues, I felt incredibly alone and I was more broke than I’d ever been—like, unsure of how I’d get gas or food until I received tips the following Monday. This stress, combined with some horribly grumpy customers that day made me one mopey girl as we cleaned the machines and scrubbed the floor for the evening.
As I opened the door to the women’s restroom to mop it, George, our security guard called my name. George was an older man who’d moved from the Caribbean to the United States a few years prior. Even though he was older, he did a good job of watching our store, which was located in a very shady area of downtown Sacramento. George approached me and asked me to come over to him.
He clasped my hand and said, “Amy, I really think God is telling me to give you this.”
In my hand was a $20.
Twenty dollars doesn’t sound like much, but to me, in the middle of my struggle, it felt like a million dollars. When I saw it in my hand, I collapsed into tears, sobbing into George’s navy blue uniform. I was so, so, so grateful for this $20 that would get me some gas and some food.
This moment changed me forever. Here, a man, just as poor as me gave me money because he felt moved to do so, with no questions asked, with no idea what was really going on in my life and heart and mind.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this moment lately. About what it means to be blessed and lucky, what it means to do that for others, even in a small way. I thanked George for this when he did it for me; however, I would give anything to see him again, to tell him how much it meant to me, and how much it affected my life.
It is in that spirit that I’m trying to figure out how to be a better person in the world—how to make a difference. I’m not rich, I’m not some sort of Oprah-esque character with a ton of power and influence. I’m a little shy about discussing it and putting it out there in the universe. Yet, it’s been on my mind and heart for months. As I come into a more stable time in my life where I have a chance to make choices about what I’ll do with my time, this seems like something I want to do more of.
Tonight, I was reading some blogs when I came upon Michelle’s “You Inspire Me” project. The point of it is to let people you know, don’t know, kinda know, will never know that they inspire you. I’m a big fan of putting it out there when someone inspires me. So, in honor of George, and in support of this project, I want to encourage you to join me in doing something. Something good. Something kind. Something inspiring. Do it on your blog, at your job, or at your local Starbucks. Just say thank you. Do a good deed. Let someone know they matter. You never know where it’ll lead.