I was waiting on the street corner to meet my boyfriend last night, and he’s running late due to a bustastrophe. It was 40 degrees outside, and I’d overestimated how balmy it would be (it was double the temperature it had been – I got excited), so I wasn’t wearing a jacket. After a few minutes, I ducked into Dunkin Donuts for some warmth.
Now, I’m not a person who eats donuts for breakfast or generally craves the hole-y little treats, but standing there, with that distinctive Dunkin smell in the air, I couldn’t help myself. And besides, I felt guilty to take up space in the store without buying anything, so that’s my excuse.
I asked the man behind the counter, “Do you sell just one Munchkin?” and he said yes, they cost a quarter. So I order a chocolate one, and the customer standing next to me deposits a quarter in the tip cup and says, “It’s on me.” I cautiously thanked him (I mean, you never know what ulterior motives…), and he replied back in a gentle Australian twang if I’d like coffee as well. I said no thank you, and he wished me goodnight and departed with his coffees. When I was handed my donut hole, I was handed two, with a smile and an “Enjoy!”
The sweetness of those two strangers surpassed the sweetness of those two donuts, and their unexpected kindness made my day. I walked away smiling and thinking to myself how every time I feel like I could give up on humanity (see Pat Robertson on Haiti), humanity pleasantly surprises me. It’s amazing how each and every one of us has the ability to make a positive (or negative) impact upon one another. It doesn’t take much, even less than a quarter – like holding a door, or helping carry a stroller up the steps, or simply smiling at someone in the elevator – to let some sunshine in.