I am carrying my problems. You are carrying your problems. Everyone we meet has bills to worry about, a flat tire, a sick kid, a dying loved one, a sore back, hurting feet, a fight with their partner, or countless other things. I forget sometimes. I forget.
Yesterday after getting our car fixed, my husband and I stopped at a Mexican restaurant to get lunch. We don’t usually eat at chain restaurants, but this is one where we enjoy a few of the menu items.
I ordered a chopped salad (no meat), extra avocado and dressing on the side. My husband ordered a rice and bean bowl. When our meals came to our table, I let out a sigh of disappointment and said, “This is just lettuce.” The woman who was serving it said, “Is there something wrong?”
“Usually this comes with cheese, and chips and salsa fresca.” I said.
“Here is the salsa fresca. Would you like me to bring you some cheese?” She asked.
By this time, I was so disappointed with my bowl of shredded lettuce that I couldn’t see a way out. I told her, “I don’t care. Do whatever. Just do whatever. It’s just lettuce.”
My husband told her to bring more cheese and salsa fresca. When she returned, I told her, “I always order the same salad when I come here. It has never looked this bad.”
She said, “I knew when it came out of the kitchen that they forgot to add the cheese and salsa fresca.”
“This just looks so bad.” I said.
“I will give you a refund if you want.” She said
“I don’t care.” I said.
“Do you want more chips, salsa, and cheese?”
“I don’t care.” I said.
“I’ll get my manager.” She said.
Then the manager came over with a big container of cheese, more salsa fresca, a bag of chip to put in the salad, our money back from both meals, and a coupon to eat there the next time for free. My husband and I were both shocked, and told her, “Thank you.”
At that point, I felt like such a badly behaved adult. Instead of just ask for more of the things I wanted, and keep my spirits up about it, I had let myself become negative toward someone who only wanted to help me. My husband, always considerate of other people’s feelings, went to the server, thanked her, and started up a nice conversation with her.
She came back to our table, and she said, “Is everything okay now? I saw how sad you were and I didn’t want you to be sad.”
“Initially, I was so disappointed that was all I could think about, but I am happy now. Thank you so much. We come here and I always order the same thing. I was so excited to have the salad, and when it came, I just felt so disappointed. I’m great now. Thank you.”
When we were leaving, my husband handed me five dollars to give to the server. She didn’t want to take it, but I insisted.
I need to remember that the weight of the world is on every shoulder and it is my job as a human being to help balance whenever and where ever I can. I don’t want to see anyone go to their knees because things get too heavy. I want to offer a hand, and a light heart. I want to offer a smile and hopefully what they are carrying will be a little less – a little less for all of us, that is what I need to remember.
Yesterday, for a time, I forgot. Thankfully, my husband was there to remind me to have and show heart.
Today, I will have many chances to try again. With every person I encounter, I will extend compassion, because I would hate to add any more weight for someone to carry.
It can be a rough and tough world, let’s all help someone lighten their load.