Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Red Robin

I just saw the news story about the little eight-year-old boy who lost his mom and found comfort in a Red Robin restaurant.  Have you heard this tale?  On the day his mother passed away, his dad told him he could pick whatever restaurant he wanted to eat at.  His mom's name was Robin so he chose Red Robin.  He ordered Mac & Cheese and when it arrived, broke down and started crying at the table.  His waiter asked if there was anything he could do and the boy told him what happened.  With his tip money, the waiter sent some of his co-workers over to Target to buy a card and a photo album.  The boy had some pictures of his mom with him.  The entire staff signed the card and they gave it and the album to the kid.  "Even though your mom isn't here, you have the pictures and I want you to have a place to keep them forever."  In the interview, the little boy said he went into that restaurant with his heart broken and felt like it'd been put back together again.

How beautiful is that?

This is the kind of story that happens every day.  Every single day, thousands of little sacred moments like that occur, from a kind word to a stranger to a priceless gift that cost pennies.  I find myself overwhelmed by crap on the news sometimes and have to remember that simple fact.  Good and sacred moments like that happen every day.  I think human beings are hardwired to remember the bad things first.  Maybe a mammalian survival instinct, who knows?  Our brains and hearts get stuffed full of ghastly scumballs stabbing each other in the backs, of pissy gripers taking a bite out of our confidence, of us joining in and flaying ourselves for being not good enough, not smart enough, not anything enough.  But we all have that glow inside.  We all have the ability to be unexpected angels, like that waiter.  He had no idea he was going to change a life when he went into work.  He probably walked in the door quietly resigned to slinging hamburgers for six to ten hours and miserably counting the paltry handful of money at the end of the shift.  I think we're all given the opportunity to be an angel on a fairly regular basis, but we're so overwhelmed by our own problems we often don't see the chance we just passed up.  But sometimes we do.  Sometimes Fate bangs us on the head and says, "Look.  Look what you can do, at no cost to yourself.  You can save a child.  You can mend a bit of heartache.  You can soothe a shattered soul."  And we do it.  Amazing to look at myself, a class act fuckup for so many decades of my life, to look back and think, "Good GOD.  I was an angel to somebody.  More than once."

And how beautiful is that too?

Take care, fellow angels.  Keep a look out for emotional ice burgs and do a bit of rescue, both to yourselves and others.  Best self hatred treatment in the world, to do something worthy.  Big or small, that is always a sacred thing.  Happy flying.

Love, R

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