Originally published Wednesday, 19 December 2012.
Original Photo Source / Edited by JMorlet
It's okay to be nice to a complete stranger. I'm grateful for the lady that taught me this lesson.
I was sitting in the corner of my favorite hometown french bakery, sobbing my eyes out. I tried my best to conceal the tears, but the mascara smudged down my lower lids was a dead giveaway. I couldn't help it. I was at my wits end, and with every last ounce of girth in me I struggled to put on my every things-going-to-work-out cap on.
I knew it would. It always does. But at that moment, I was tired of waiting.
I ordered my usual, a breakfast crepe with eggs, ham, mushrooms, cheese and strawberries, a stared off into space as though the answers to my questions would inscribe themselves on the back wall.
Now, please understand there is a slight possibility I was overly emotional and approaching PMS week.
Nevertheless, off into space I stared.
For about 15 minutes.
And then the sweetest little old lady walked up behind me, gently rubbed my shoulder and whispered five words that shifted my mood and my philosophy on strangers.
"Sweetie, you need to eat."
In that moment, that woman was my hero. At a time when I felt all my decisions were either being made for me or non-existent, she gave me the simplest of directions. I needed someone to remind me to focus on the next right thing. I needed to eat. I hadn't eaten anything all day.
It was like she knew that and instead of pitying me in her mind and walking away, she sweetly and gently took the time to mother my exposed heart.
There are people in your life today, that need you to help them along to their next right thing. Look for them. They will come in all different shapes and sizes, looks and styles, ages and genders. Regardless, they need you to notice them and sweetly whisper something like, "Sweetie, you need to eat."